Positions on Global Health

Josh:

Josh Havumaki

With the republican primaries in full swing and super Tuesday right around the corner, it is worth considering how the leading candidates would impact global health if elected.

Rick Santorum

If Rick Santorum were elected president, his global health policies would follow in the steps of George W. Bush. Contrary to what you may expect, this IS NOT necessarily a bad thing. Santorum believes that the U.S. should play a strong role in international health. He is the only candidate that wants to expand Bush’s plan for humanitarian aid to Africa which has included initiatives like the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDs Relief (picture from here).

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Bono has even praised his strong antipoverty policies. A potential drawback is that his pro-life and anti-drug views may isolate organizations and government agencies such as USAID. USAID has global health and capacity building initiatives around the world.

Mitt Romney

A Mitt Romney presidency would most likely result in a reduction of global health spending. In August of last year he expressed his views on borrowing money to support global health.

“At a time when we are borrowing money to pay for things, I’m very reluctant to borrow lots more money to be able to do wonderful things, if those things can be done by people making charitable contributions or by other countries that are wealthy.”

Even with his implimentation Romneycare, Mitt sees the U.S. playing a lessor role in global health initiatives.

Regardless of political affiliation, it is worth noting these issues as the primary season continues and beyond. Ultimately, global health will become more topical as technology and the globalized economy make the world a smaller place.

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