A red state boosted public health funding by 1,500 percent. This is how they did it.

A red state boosted public health funding by 1,500 percent. This is how they did it.

Jul 13, 2023 by Health Care - Politico

Key Facts

  • Holcomb, who is term-limited and will leave office in early 2025, spent more time talking specifically about public health in his State of the State address this year than any other governor — Republican or Democrat — according to a POLITICO review of each governor’s speech.
  • Lawmakers, lobbyists and public health advocates in Indiana chalk the bill’s success up to a favorable budgetary climate that left lawmakers unusually generous, smart leadership by Holcomb and careful messaging from his appointed and well-respected foot soldiers — including a former state senator, Luke Kenley, who earned a reputation as a penny-pinching budget chair during his time in the legislature.
  • Lawmakers amended it to clarify that counties do not give up any authority to the state by accepting the money — a key concern for some — although local health departments may only spend the state’s dollars on so-called core public health services, such as communicable disease prevention, maternal and child health and tobacco cessation.
  • The legislature failed to advance a host of other health measures this year, including a cigarette tax increase, and state health officials will have to return to the legislature in two years to demonstrate what local health departments did with the funding and ask for it to be renewed.

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