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CDC Cut of $450 Million Will Likely Come at a Greater Cost

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.

The consulting firm GlobalData says not only will CDC be less capable, but also the cuts will fail to accomplish the goal of less government spending.

“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
  • galedbetter

    While I certainly agree that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, this reminds me of what happened in Idaho 3 years ago.  With the onset of the economic downturn Idaho was faced with a budget deficit which is prohibited in the state’s constitution.  Across the board budget cuts were necessary.  The outpour of public and agency proclamations was staggaring.  Kids were going to starve and die of disease.  They would be uneducated because of education budget cuts.  The health and welfare of the elderly was in jeopardy.  In short the sky was falling, the sky was falling.

    Bottom line, Idaho was back in the black with a budget surplus with in a year and has been able to restore many of the cuts.  No one starved.  There was no mass die off.  Kids still got educated.  Yes government tightened its belt, but life went on and now the state is doing well.   It remains to be seen if the feds have the leadership to accomplish the same.

  • Sequestration allows government to be creative.  Please understand that we don’t have the money to spend.  Think of other ways to get to the desired end.

  • What can you say,  the TEA PARTY TERRORIST don’t care at all. 

  • william klingelhoffer

    Taxes avoided by the rich could pay off the deficit.

    1.  Indiviual and small business tax avoidance costs us $450 billion.  IRS data reveals the richest 10 percent of Americans paid less than 19% on $3.8 trillion of income in 2006, nearly $450 billion short of a more legitimate 30% tax rate.
    2.  Corporate tax avoidance is between $250 billion and $500 billion. Corporation cut their tax rates after the start of the recession.  After paying an average of 22.5% from 1987 to 2008, they’ve paid an annual rate of 10% since.  This represents $250 billion annual loss in taxes.  Worse yet, it’s a $500 billion shortfall from the 35% statutory corporate tax rate.
    3.  Tax haven losses are at least $337 billion.  The Tax Justice Network estimated in 2011 that $337 billion is lost to the US every year in tax haven abuse.  A recent report placed total hidden offshore assets at between $21 trillioin and $32 trillion.  Using the $21 trillion figure, and considering that 40% of  the world’s Ultra High Net Worth Individuals are Americans, at least $8.4 trillion of untaxed revenue sits overseas.
    4.  a) A non regressive payroll tax could produce $150 billion in revenue.
          b) A minimal estate tax brings in another $100 billion.
          c)  A financial transaction tax (FTT):  up to $500 billion.

    Does it make sense to cut $450 million from the  Center for Disease Control  to keep tax breaks for the wealthy?
    Wealthy people get sick and die, too–just like the rest of us.