AUSTIN — Months after the grant that brought it to life ran out, Live Tobacco-Free Austin lives on.
Like many of the wellness programs started with $372.8 million in stimulus funding, Live Tobacco-Free Austin secured a new federal grant before the old one had run out and retained most of the staff hired to run the program.
Contrary to the billing of the $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a one-time infusion, the smoking and obesity programs branded Communities Putting Prevention to Work were never meant to be orphaned.
While hundreds of new hires were spending hundreds of millions in advance of a March 2012 spending deadline, advocates were busy embedding promises for billions more in something called the Prevention and Public Health Fund created with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The fund is expected to spread $1 billion around to wellness programs this year and increasing every year after to $2 billion by 2016.
Read the complete story at Texas Watchdog.