A new Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) report examining the health impacts of increased government investment in public health and social services found increased public spending on services like public health; fire and ambulance; housing and community development; and libraries would likely lead to improved health outcomes for Texas counties.
Researchers analyzed per-capita government spending on areas like education, housing, parks, police, and public health in Texas. Then, they compared those public spending rates with county-level health rankings that are based on obesity rates, premature deaths, overall health status, and more. Using the data and new models, researchers predict that a 10 percent increase in per-capita spending on certain public services could improve a county’s national health ranking by one to seven spots within just four years.
The report found that counties differ in their social service investments. Some healthy counties prioritize a smaller number of larger services, such as education, while other healthy counties allocate higher spending across a number of “smaller” services, such as parks, libraries, and more, researchers found.
Along with showing the level of total government social service spending by county, the report’s model estimates how increased investments by dollar amounts and/or social services categories could change a county’s health ranking.
Contact: Brian Sasser