Wall Street Journal Examines Increased U.S. Spending On Global Health Programs

The Wall Street Journal on Monday examined how the increase in U.S. spending on global health programs since 2001 represents “a fundamental change in the direction of the foreign-aid budget, driven by Congress.” According to Congressional Research Service estimates, spending on global health increased from $1.28 billion in 2001 to $2.50 billion in 2004, and the House Appropriations Committee estimates the fiscal year 2006 total to be $3.65 billion. The increase has been supported by both Republicans and Democrats, in part because health care spending has “measurable results,” the Journal reports. In addition, since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, “more Republicans have seen the need to engage with developing countries that might become terrorist havens,” according to the Journal. Spending on the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the potential avian flu pandemic accounts for more than half of global health spending, according to the Journal. Some critics say overall assistance is insufficient given the prosperity of the U.S. (Rogers, Wall Street Journal, 1/30).

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