Public Health Funding
- State dollars dedicated to public health and federal dollars directed to states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Public Health Funding is the dollars per person that are spent on public or population health through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources Services Administration, and the state. This does not include spending from other sources such as foundations, county or city governments, nor does it include state spending for health that is included under other departmental spending such as education and transportation. The 2015 ranks are based on 2013 and 2014 data from Trust for America’s Health.
Public health funding ranges from more than $200 per person in Alaska and Hawaii to $33.35 per person in Nevada. The average funding in the United States is $85.52 per person, down from $90.00 in the 2014 Edition.
Public Health Impact
Public health funding allows states to proactively implement preventive and education programs for improving health. Spending on public health programs represents only about 2% of all health care spending, yet its impact can be substantial., Increased spending is associated with decreased mortality from such preventable causes of death as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Research from 2011 shows an investment of $10 per person per year in proven community-based programs to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and prevent smoking or other tobacco use could save the country more than $16 billion annually within 5 years.  This is a return of $5.60 for every $1 invested. Public health funding for behavioral or environmental interventions can contribute more toward improving health outcomes than medical care funding. Low-income communities experience the largest health and economic benefits from increased local public health spending.
The Affordable Care Act established the Prevention and Public Health Fund in 2010 to expand and sustain national investments in evidence-based strategies to improve health outcomes and health care quality. Sequestration of funding in 2013 caused a temporary, 1-year decrease in public health funding, but the 2014 budget bill restored funding for certain public health services and organizations to 2012 levels. The Trust for America’s Health released a report in April 2015 that evaluated state-by-state public health funding and important health facts.
 Levi J, Segal LM, Juliano C. Prevention for a healthier America: investments in disease prevention yield significant savings, stronger communities. Trust for America's Health. http://healthyamericans.org/reports/prevention08/Prevention08.pdf. Updated July 2008. Accessed August 3, 2012.
 Richardson AK. Investing in public health: Barriers and possible solutions. J Public Health (Oxf). 2012;34(3):322-327.
 Mays, GP. Evidence links increases in public health spending to declines in preventable deaths. Health Affairs. 2011;30(8):1585.
 Prevention for a healthier America: investments in disease prevention yield significant savings, stronger communities. Trust for America’s Health. 2011.
 Return on investments in public health: saving lives and money. Policy highlight brief 2013. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2013/12/return-on-investments-in-public-health.html. Accessed July 17, 2015.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Prevention and Public Health Fund. http://www.cdc.gov/fmo/topic/Budget%20Information/appropriations_budget_form_pdf/The-Prevention-and-Public-Health-Fund.pdf. Accessed July 17, 2015.
 Roos, R. US budget bill restores some funding for public health. CIDRAP News. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/01/us-budget-bill-restores-some-funding-public-health. Updated January 16, 2014. Accessed July 17, 2015.