Update on Health Policy Grantmaking

by Steven Lawrence

Mar 1, 2004
The first half of the 1990s represented a period of intense focus on reforming the U.S. health care system. Years of crisis predictions culminated in the Clinton Administration's 1994 attempt to reshape the provision of health care nationally. For foundations seeking to improve health and health care in this country, the debates of a decade ago provided a unique opportunity and impetus to affect health care policy through support for research, public education, and advocacy. In fact, foundation grantmaking for health policy activities tripled between 1990 and 1995. The effort to effect sweeping national reform in the health care system failed. Yet new foundation trends data show that the push to provide care for the millions of uninsured Americans and to improve health and health care at all stages of life has continued and even accelerated. To document these changes, the Foundation Center has prepared this update of its 1998 Health Policy Grantmaking report. Through a review of funding trends from 1995 to 2002, this update helps to answer questions such as: who are the leading health policy funders and how have their giving priorities changed since the mid-1990s? It also considers the future outlook for health policy grantmaking.
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