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Cuts To U.S. Global Health Spending Would Mean ‘Stark Future’ For Millions

Disregarding advances “that have the potential to significantly reduce the death toll from HIV/AIDS, malaria, malnutrition, and other insidious killers, … both the House and the Senate are pushing significant cuts to the 2012 Obama request for global health funding,” Matthew Spitzer, president of the U.S. section of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, writes in an opinion piece on the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “This debate is about much more than economy; it is about the vulnerable, about people sick, even dying, right now in the poorest corners of the earth,” and if proposed cuts to global health spending are enacted, “millions of patients and families who rely on U.S.-funded health programs [will] face a stark future,” he writes.

“The ability to make major impacts on health in our global society, are easier, better, and more possible than ever,” Spitzer continues, adding, “Rather than slashing global health funding, which represents less than one percent of the federal budget, Congress and the Obama administration should be ensuring funding of successful international health initiatives and exploring new ways of generating predictable revenue for vital lifesaving programs” (11/17).

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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.