Global Health An Important Issue To Raise In Final U.S. Presidential Debate

“When President Barack Obama and [Republican presidential nominee] Gov. Mitt Romney debate Monday in Boca Raton for the final time, on foreign policy issues, I hope they will give us a chance to compare their visions of our country’s role in global health,” John May, chief medical officer of Armor Correctional Health Services in Miami, writes in a Palm Beach Post opinion piece. “It is a topic they have yet to address and have only touched on in their party platforms, perhaps because they are reluctant to discuss spending money in other countries,” but “it is important for voters to understand that, at about one-fourth of one percent of the federal budget, global health spending has little impact on the deficit while it addresses tremendous challenges,” he continues.

“These challenges connect us to our neighbors in the Caribbean and Central America, to the places we travel for business and tourism and for the many people who come to our state as tourists or as immigrants seeking a better life,” May writes, adding, “Ignoring the impact of our policies on our neighbors’ health and on our own well-being has come back to haunt us — in the form of outbreaks of cholera, dengue fever, and, of course, drug-resistant tuberculosis in Florida.” He continues, “Since our investment in global health has not played a part in the candidates’ discussion of foreign policy issues during this campaign, it will not be surprising if it doesn’t play a part in the final debate,” concluding, “That would be a missed opportunity” (10/18).