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Continued U.S. Investment In PEPFAR Will Help Ensure Health, National Security Benefits

Roll Call: Opinion: An Open Health Diplomacy Hand Works Better Than a Fist
Tom Daschle, former Senate majority leader and co-founder of the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Bill Frist, former Senate majority leader, heart and lung transplant surgeon, and senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center

“…PEPFAR’s successes show that now is not the time for the United States to step back from global health leadership. Rather, it is time to renew our commitment. … [T]he impacts of PEPFAR stretch far beyond treating a disease — in fact, U.S. national security, economic, and diplomatic objectives have all benefited. A Bipartisan Policy Center report released Monday shows that PEPFAR is an excellent example of what we call ‘strategic health diplomacy,’ the idea that by addressing global health America advances its own national strategic interests. In addition to its public health benefits, we found that PEPFAR has strong positive effects on public opinion toward the U.S.; socioeconomic development; governance, stability and civil society engagement; and diplomatic engagement in the countries where the program is most active. … To continue reaping these health and national security benefits, our first and most immediate step should be to continue investing in PEPFAR. … Policymakers should strongly invest in PEPFAR and other programs that use strategic health diplomacy to help achieve a safer and more prosperous tomorrow. It is a win-win for all” (7/9).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.