I have a new article just made available on the website of the New England Journal of Medicine on budget sequestration and the U.S. health sector, available here. I explain the sequestration process, how key federal health-related functions will be affected, and why this is happening. One quote:
The Food and Drug Administration projects that it will conduct 2100 fewer inspections at domestic and foreign food manufacturers (down from just over 20,000 in 2012). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration plans to cut the Mental Health Block Grant program, eliminating services for 373,000 (of about 6.9 million) adults and children and cutting inpatient admissions for addiction by 109,000 (from about 1.8 million). The Indian Health Service, which normally covers about 48,000 inpatient admissions and 12.8 million outpatient visits per year, expects to cover 3000 and 804,000 fewer, respectively. The Health Resources and Services Administration anticipates cuts to AIDS drug-assistance programs, with 7400 fewer patients' receiving HIV medications as a result (about 209,000 received treatment in 2010).
A lot of damage, and none of it needs to happen.
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