Tobacco Settlements Largely Going For Health Care
March 8, 2000
Most states are directing funds from the massive tobacco settlements toward improving health care, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Forty-six states will be receiving $206 billion over the next 25 years, under the terms of the settlement. Four other states -- under a separate arrangement -- will divide up $40 billion.
- Among the 41 states where health-care bills are pending, 23 are considering spending increases for long-term and home-based health care, and 12 would subsidize the cost of prescription drugs.
- Other priorities include biomedical research and expanded health-insurance programs -- especially Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program for low-income families.
- Otherwise, 10 Southeastern states are considering or have enacted legislation to assist tobacco growers and their communities, and 44 states would direct money to anti-smoking campaigns aimed at children.
- Seven states would increase funding for education at the kindergarten through 12th grade level, and four states would direct some money toward college tuition relief.
The survey noted that the money is arriving "during some of the best fiscal times states have seen in recent history."
Source: Shailagh Murray, "Most States To Spend Tobacco Settlement on Improving Health Care, Survey Says," Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2000.
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