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Bird Flu Plan Lacks a Key Detail

May 4, 2006
by Anita Manning and David Jackson
USA Today

The Bush administration's pandemic flu action plan, issued Wednesday, is a good step toward getting the nation ready for a 1918-style flu disaster, health experts say, but it's missing a key element: how to pay for it. The plan acknowledges that the response to a pandemic could exceed the financial resources of government agencies, says Jeffrey Levi, director of Trust for America's Health, a public-health advocacy group. The plan cites President Bush's $7.1 billion funding request for preparedness, but Levi says it doesn't address how to pay for services that would be needed after a pandemic hits.

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