NDD United Releases New Report on the Impact of Austerity!
This week, NDD United, a broad based coalition comprised of 3,200+ organizations released a report entitled the Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us Sicker, Poorer and Less Secure. This report was cosponsored by a number of organizations including AADR and tells the stories of those who’ve been impact most by Washington’s failure to protect the programs that keep us healthy, safe and educated. The report is the first of its kind: a comprehensive, sector-by-sector look at what’s happening far from Washington noise, on the ground, across the country where seniors, children and families have been hurt by national budget cuts.
The report features a story from Joseph Interrante, Chief Executive Officer of the Nashville CARES program which states, “Nowhere is the impact of the cuts more severe than Nashville CARES oral health program. HIV medications have side effects such as dry mouth-a breeding ground for bacterial infections that, if left untreated, can lead to systemic infections in already immune compromised patients. In years past Nashville CARES provided $1,700 worth of dental services per patient to 700-800 patients annually, with a waiting list of 900 people. Sequestration has cut oral health services by 68 percent.”
Additionally, the report dedicates an entire chapter about the impact of sequestration on science and data. An excerpt from this chapter states, “Federal investments in scientific research have stagnated and failed to keep pace with inflation. Furthermore, sequestration and other budget cuts to federal scientific agencies have eroded our ability to invest in the next generation of scientists to continue groundbreaking research.” Dr. Jian Liu a professor from the University of North Carolina, is featured in the report and highlighted the devastating impact cuts had on the National Institutes of Health and his research on heparin. Dr. Liu states, “It is getting more and more difficult for me to plan out into the future what my next steps in research will be. As funding gets more difficult and less reliable, I feel the pressure to do more with less. I have seen other colleagues take their research to other countries, greener pastures.”
NDD United is sharing the report with members of Congress, the White House and media outlets to bring attention to the fact that budget cuts have real consequences and cannot continue.
Click here to read the report.
Budget Conference Committee Update
Yesterday, the Budget Conference Committee met for a second time to discuss the federal budget and deficit. Dr. Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, testified during this meeting to discuss the long term fiscal outlook, the primary stressors on our economy and the need to address the federal debt and deficit. Members of the appropriations committees pressed Chairmen Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to develop top line funding levels for fiscal year 2014 and fiscal year 2015 as soon as possible.
Negotiations will continue during the next couple of weeks and the Budget Conference Committee is slated to release a report by Dec. 13, 2013 which will hopefully include funding levels for the remainder of fiscal year 2014 and a proposal to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction.