Asking "what if?" is usually pretty benign, but when a new report asks the same question, the answers are about preparedness for disasters, diseases and bioterrorism.
But what's behind those numbers? Some highlights:
- States got points for increasing or maintaining public health services funding last year. Illinois was among 33 that decreased funding. But Illinois' decrease, 2.6 percent, was smaller than most.
- Illinois is also among states without a requirement for licensed child-care centers to have a written multi-hazard evacuation plan and lacking electronic surveillance for monitoring and sharing outbreak data.
- Two states did worse, but most did better. Arkansas, North Dakota and Washington state got perfect 10s.
From the report in general:
- 27 states cut funding for public health from FY 2007-08 to 2008-09.
- 13 states have purchased less than 50 percent of their share of federally subsidized antiviral drugs to stockpile for use during an influenza pandemic.
- 14 states do not have the capacity in place to assure the timely pick-up and delivery of laboratory samples on a 24/7 basis to the Laboratory Response Network (LRN).
- 11 states and D.C report not having enough laboratory staffing capacity to work five 12-hour days for six to eight weeks in response to an infectious disease outbreak, such as H1N1.
The report is from the Trust for America's Health, a non-profit, non-partisan health advocacy group.