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August 18, 2010

The President's Global Health Initiative

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC (Mr Gostin and Ms Mok); and Department of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland (Mr Gostin).

JAMA. 2010;304(7):789-790. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1164

President Obama's signature health policy initiative is health care reform. Just as important, but less noticed, is the President's Global Health Initiative (GHI). Building on the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease—Mr Obama promised to fundamentally “restructure the US global health enterprise.”1 However, as the United States enters a period of severe budgetary restraint and as the president focuses his attention on domestic crises (eg, the Gulf Coast oil spill), the promise of global health reform could become illusory. That would be a serious error because global health is vital to US national interests.