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U.S. Should Devote More Global Health Funds To Goods Rather Than Service Delivery

Washington Post: How the U.S. should change its approach to global health
Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot university professor at Harvard

“…We are in uncharted territory. No one can know what the attitude of the new U.S. administration will be to funding foreign assistance of any kind or to global cooperation in the health area. … The world needs to move decisively away from the current regime, where 80 percent of health assistance is devoted to supporting national health care delivery and only 20 percent is devoted to global service delivery, toward a model where half of assistance is devoted to global goods. … Mostly … it is because of the overwhelming return on investments in global goods that bear on health. … [F]oreign assistance priorities should be based on analysis, evidence, and argument. The more morally important the issue, the more important is rigorous analysis and debate. … [M]y experience in policymaking in the United States and at the international level is that reason has always had its day in court and usually carried the day. I desperately hope this tradition continues…” (12/2).

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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.