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Sequester Puts the Health of Local Health Departments and All Americans at Risk


 

Contact Alisa Blum
(202) 494-0668
ablum@naccho.org

 
 
Sequester Puts the Health of Local Health Departments and All Americans at Risk

Washington, DC (March 1, 2013) —

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is disappointed that Congress and the White House could not come to a resolution on across-the-board cuts in federal discretionary spending. The resulting cuts to local and state health department services will put the health, education, safety, and security of all Americans at risk.

Since 2008, local health departments have eliminated 40,000 jobs due to budget cuts. The cumulative effect of these local, state, and federal cuts over the past four years threatens the ability of local health departments to prepare for and respond to emergencies and to provide basic services that people count on such as safe food and water.

The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be cut by approximately $350 million over the next six months.  With two-thirds of CDC's funding going to state and local health departments and other community partners, cuts to communities could be as high as $230 million. Potential outcomes from the inability of Washington to find a solution include: 540,000 fewer doses of vaccine against disease like hepatitis, flu, measles, and whooping cough;  25,000 fewer breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income, high-risk women; 400,000 fewer HIV tests; Up to 2,100 fewer food inspections; and $48 million to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies like disease outbreaks, tornados, wildfires, and floods lost.

We respectfully remind our federal leaders that serious cuts to health discretionary programs have already occurred, and urge them to agree on a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes increased revenue to ensure the sustainability of vital programs that keep individuals and families in communities across the country healthy and safe.  

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities.

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