This morning employees of community health centers across the country got this email:
Subject: Important Announcement from Community HealthCorps National Director Jason Patnosh
This week, the House Appropriations Committee announced a list of domestic spending cuts. NACHC’s CEO Tom VanCoverden stated earlier this week:
“Today’s decision by House appropriators to cut $1.3 billion in funding to Community Health Centers levels a devastating blow to Americans who are already struggling in the economic recession. If this cut were to be approved, it will mean that America’s Health Centers will lose the capacity to serve 11 million patients over the next year, with well over 3.3 million current patients losing their care within the next few months.”
I happen to know a Doctor who runs one of the larger health centers on the east coast. She’s been at it for a long time. I cut to the chase and asked if this means people would die:
Will people die unnecessarily? You better believe it.
All programs are at risk. You think folks are pissed off now, if these cuts go as written, it’ll be a disaster. It’s going to be a very ugly couple of years.
Well there you have it. A credible voice says people will die as a result of belt tightening. The rubber just met the road.
I’m not smart enough to know what should be cut and what should stay. I do know that cutting a billion here or there on the 15% of the discretionary budget is not going to do a thing. These are rounding errors that are being played with.
The President’s budget is a joke. If we follow that path of trillion dollar deficits we won’t make it another five years without an explosion. A big one.
There is no way we can avoid that fate unless Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the military come on the table. The President didn’t even address this 85% of the budget. Like the Doctor said: It’s going to be a very ugly couple of years.