Budget cuts to vital public health agencies and programs at both the federal and state levels have taken their toll on Ohio and the nation as a whole, complicating public health efforts. Additional resources are needed to adequately support improving access to care, controlling diseases, eliminating health disparities, and other public health activities. Make public health a priority this year and help us move towards developing a healthy society.
§ Public Health Funding: The state of Ohio spends an average of $15.13 a year on the public health needs of each resident, placing it 41st in the nation. The state receives an additional $13.96 per person in funding from the CDC (50th in the nation) and $17.27 per person from HRSA (39th in the nation). The Prevention and Public Health Fund, created by the Affordable Care Act, awarded $10.69 million in grants to Ohio in FY 2010 for prevention efforts, training of the primary care workforce, and improvements to public health infrastructure.
§ Access to Care: Approximately 13 percent of Ohio residents do not have health insurance, compared to 17 percent in the nation as a whole.
§ Health Predictors: Ohio has the 15th highest rates of smoking (20.3 percent of the population) and obesity (29.7 percent of the population), with its obesity rate for blacks (40.9 percent) notably higher than its rate for non-Hispanic whites (28.3 percent). Almost 40 percent of Ohio residents have high cholesterol, the 10th highest rate in the nation.
§ Chronic Disease: The rate of deaths from cancer in Ohio (210.2 per 100,000 people) is the 9th highest in the country. The state also has the 10th highest rate of diabetes (10.1 percent of adults) and 12th highest rate of stroke (3.0 percent of adults). Increased funding is needed to improve these outcomes in the state.
§ The Road Ahead: Ohio has made many recent public health improvements, such as significantly decreasing the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease over the last ten years. However, the state still faces many public health challenges, including one of the worst levels of air pollution in the country.
Sources: Trust for America’s Health State Data; Healthcare.gov, “The Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund in Your State;” Kaiser Family Foundation’s statehealthfacts.org; United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings.
In response to an informal 2008 electronic survey sent out to our membership and 53 state affiliates:
An employee at the Center for Injury Research and Policy, working in Columbus, told us, “less federal funds means fewer funded research projects and injury prevention programs. This ultimately leads to increased health care costs for treatment of injuries that could have been avoided.”
An employee at the national Association of Local Boards of Health in Bowling Green responded that, “we operate with minimal resources as status quo; any cuts in revenue impact the education, training and outreach we can provide to our constituents – the over 20,000 citizen trustees who comprise the grassroots of public health.”