Medical Reading

Washington, D.C., Mayor Proposes $245 Million In Health Initiatives Using Tobacco Settlement Funds

November 11, 2017

Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams on Tuesday proposed a plan to fund a number of health initiatives with at least $245 million from the city's share of the 1998 national tobacco settlement, the Washington Times reports (Doolittle, Washington Times, 9/27). More than half of the funds would go toward health care in lower-income areas. The plan would allocate $112 million for the construction of several "sophisticated" health facilities, including a $72 million "healthplex" with a 24-hour emergency department, primary and specialty care, day surgeries and diagnostic imaging, the Washington Post reports. The plan also would provide $83 million to improve emergency care, $20 million for cancer prevention programs, $10 million for smoking cessation programs and $10 million for a program to manage and prevent chronic conditions. In previous years, Washington has not funded any health care programs with tobacco settlement money. DC Cancer Consortium Executive Director Susan Lowell Butler said the plan is a "major breakthrough" because it "takes the District of Columbia from doing perhaps the least in the country for cancer control and prevention to (being) one of the better." According to the Post, D.C. City Council support for the proposal is "unclear" (Levine, Washington Post, 9/26).

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