Healthcare services such as Medicaid received 25% of the nearly $11.9 billion of tobacco settlement funds allocated in fiscal 2002, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. An additional 24% was used by states and other government for securitization of bonds issued for capital projects, healthcare projects or budget shortfalls, according to the report. Of the remainder, 18% funded endowments and budget reserves, 6% went to long-term care and 4% was devoted to tobacco use prevention. Smaller amounts went to biomedical research, education, children's programs and tobacco growers. The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco industry brought 46 states a total of approximately $206 billion over 25 years. An additional four states reached separate agreements worth about $40 billion. -- by Mary Chris Jaklevic
Healthcare biggest beneficiary of tobacco funds
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