Some of the smallest non-pork items in the entire stimulus bill were the resources devoted to under-funded public health projects. A trainload of studies backs up the cost-effectiveness of these interventions. They would support a public health enterprise that, by all accounts, is particularly challenged and under-funded as we leave the Bush years. Today’s Boston Globe/AP story reports without irony the following passage:
At the same time, Democrats have already dropped two questionable items in the plan – $75 million for smoking cessation programs and $400 million to slow the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases – from the most recent draft of the measure.
Democrats were prepared to offer amendments to add $20 billion to $30 billion more for infrastructure programs such as roads, bridges, mass transit, and water projects, said Senator Charles Schumer of New York.
Raise your hand if you believe that the 11-figures of itty bitty items added in-amendment will prove less questionable than the offending public health items.