I keep hearing about this sequestration thing…

26 Feb

While some people’s eyes glaze over when they hear the word, “sequestration,” on the news, the effects of the “S” word are sure to hit every state if ignored.

What is it?  It’s a series of automatic cuts-called the sequester- that will take effect unless Congress acts by March 1.  The Obama Administration has presented a state-by-state analysis of what these cuts mean to middle class jobs, children, seniors, the sick, and those men and women in uniform.

Impacts for healthcare this year include:

$507,000 lost to Minnesota to respond to public health threats, including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and catastrophic events.

$1.2 million lost to prevent and treat substance abuse, which means 1,700 fewer admissions to drug programs.  The Minnesota Department of Health won’t be able to administer 3,200 HIV tests.

$161,000 lost to deliver vaccinations to 2,360 children for mumps, measles, whooping cough, and the flu.

$845,000 lost to seniors who benefit from Meals-on-Wheels programs.

In addition:

$12.5 million lost to the Department of Defense means 2,000 Minnesota civilians will lose their jobs.

$689,000 lost for 23,720 people who need job search assistance, referrals, and placements.

Both sides of the aisle agree that the federal deficit should be cut, and the Obama Administration has reduced it by more than $2.5 trillion already.  More cuts are needed, but they ought not come in an ill-thought-out, automatic blast of across-the-board cuts that hurt the middle class who need services the most or in ways that create jobs and add to the economy.

Part of the solution has to include asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share and close tax loopholes to create the necessary funds that reinvest in the middle class and protect the most vulnerable.

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