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Health

Report: Iowa Cut Public Health Funding Before COVID-19 Pandemic

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A new report found Iowa cut state public health funding right before the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new report by the non-profit Trust For America's Health found Iowa was one of a handful of states to reduce public health funding in 2019.

A new report has found Iowa cut its public health funding just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual report by the nonprofit Trust For America’s Health found that Iowa was one of seven states that decreased its state funding for public health in 2019. It fell by 3 percent from the previous year.

"That's a little upsetting because Iowa also cut funding in last year's report as well by about 1 percent," said Dara Lieberman the organization's Director of Government Relations.

Lieberman said public health has been chronically underfunded for years, and it has became more apparent with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We've seen health departments having to respond with overworked staff and with archaic technologies, like using phones and fax machines to track the disease," Lieberman said.

The report found the U.S. spent $3.8 trillion on health care in 2019, but just 2.6 percent of that funding was directed towards public health and prevention.

Iowa received more than $77 million in public health funding from the CDC for fiscal year 2020, ranking it 24th in the nation per capita.

For the COVID-19 pandemic, the report found CDC awarded $48.1 billion in pandemic-related funding to the states.

Iowa has received nearly $460 million in this funding, ranking it 23rd in the nation per capita.