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November 04, 2005

Huge lapse seen in US flu plan

A story in the San Bernardino County Sun says state and local health authorities are essentially on their own if and when a flu pandemic breaks out.

The president's flu plan calls for states collectively to stockpile enough anti-viral medication to treat 31 million people. States would pay three-fourths of the cost or an estimated $500 million while the federal government would pay 25 percent.

But as some states struggle with slow revenue growth, rising Medicaid costs and recovery from Hurricane Katrina, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are wondering where the money will come from.

"They are already struggling," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. "So if we add this on top of them and say, `If you want to participate, come up with 75 percent of the funding,' we are going to have a public health crisis. And that concerns me greatly."

Posted by dymaxion at November 4, 2005 10:38 AM

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