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How is public health financed in your state, province, or country? How does the current budget crisis impact Public Health and Community services in your area?
The issue of public health and its subsequent impact on society as a whole is becoming a very contentious issues for government. In the midst of an election year, public health issues such as Medicare, social security, and disease prevention are all becoming more prevalent. In the state of New Jersey, public health is no different in this regard. According to U.S. Public Health Service, over the last century, the average life span of an America grew by 30 years. 25 of those years are attributed to an increase in public health services. As such, decisions make by governments on the federal, state, and local level will have a profound impact on the community. One conundrum facing the state of New Jersey in particular is the heightened cost of health related expenditures coupled with a lack luster increase in tax revenue. New Jersey must balance the methods in which public policymakers identify the precarious aspects of the public health issues plaguing the community and the financing of these aspects. In regards to financing, the New Jersey public health system is decentralized in nature. In this system, New Jersey and local governments have direct authority over their local health agencies. As such, the system functions and coordinates activities on the state, local and county levels with over 115 local health departments. As such, the overarching state government is responsible for funding.
Budgetary constraints have a profound impact on the overall prevalence of health related endeavors within the New Jersey community. First, as is the case with many communities, state governments rely heavily on tax revenue as their primary source of income. In the midst of a global recession, those entities that rely heavily on income tax revenue ultimately suffer as those who provide the tax revenue are unemployed. Further compounding this issue is that fact that many individuals who were formally employed full time are now employed part time. As such, their taxable income is significantly diminished. With this diminished revenue, budgets must ultimately be cut to correspond to the reduced inflow of revenue. Now in regards to expenditures two-thirds of spending is for personal health services, whereas population-based expenditures only amount to approximately 1% of total health care expenditures. More alarming, of this one percent, 26% is spent merely on legal concerns such as enforcing of laws and regulations. In regards to public…[continue]
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