Sequestration is costing the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta about $450 million, or 8 percent of its total funding for fiscal year (FY) 2013.
But since CDC is in the business of surveillance and prevention of infectious diseases, don’t look for the federal government to save any money in the long run from the cutback in those activities.
“Disease prevention represents the most economically viable method to reduce long-term healthcare costs,” says Dr. Christopher Pace, infectious disease analyst for GlobalData.
“The incidence of chronic infections, such as viral hepatitis, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases would also be expected to increase with the elimination of prevention programs,” Pace added. “These chronic infections require lifelong treatment that can become expensive.”
Sequestration is expected to affect CDC’s ability to prevent infectious disease through immunization, surveillance and response programs.
The American Public Health Association (APHA) has estimated that the cuts will prevent 30,000 vaccinations of children and of 20,000 adults for diseases such as tuberculosis, measles, tetanus and whooping cough.
A report by the Senate Appropriations Committee majority staff predicts there will be 50,000 fewer HIV tests and that 12,000 fewer uninsured, HIV-infected patients will receive therapy in 2013.
Dr. Brad Tebbets, also with Globaldata’s infectious disease team, says sequestration is going to impede the recent shift –as called for in the Food Safety Modernization Act — to prevention of foodborne disease. He says allowing an increase in preventable foodborne disease will cost taxpayers more in the long-term, both fiscally and physically.© Food Safety News