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Republicans Must Carefully Assess U.S. Health Funding In Light Of Zika, Other Disease Outbreaks

Los Angeles Times: The Zika disaster will test the GOP’s capacity to manage serious health care emergencies
Michael Hiltzik, journalist and author

“The Zika crisis, which seems to have faded from memory since it became a big news item this summer, has roared back with a vengeance, thanks to a just-published study indicating that the virus’ effect on infants of women infected during pregnancy is much worse than previously known. … The public health implications of this finding are dire for the United States, where congressional Republicans treated Zika funding this year as an opportunity to give big business a handout and to score ideological points on women’s reproductive health. … Zika is bound to place immense pressure on public health programs that Republicans are determined to gut. … It seemed clear that the congressional majority was happy to delay a Zika bill indefinitely because the crisis seemed abstract (except in Puerto Rico and Florida). But if the Brazil results are any indication … Zika will underscore the folly of shortchanging public health and treating political dysfunction as a goal. Now that they’re in control of the entire government, will Republicans get the message?” (12/14).

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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.