I won’t bore you with the long list of budget cuts that are set to go into effect on March 1st. I’m sure some of them are completely appropriate and necessary and will make America more awesome. But many of the cuts will significantly disrupt a number of programs that people have come to rely and depend on. For example, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as well as the Mental Health Block Grant program, with together suffer a $275 million cut which could result in up to 373,000 mental health patients being forced out of treatment due to lack of resources. The CDC has claimed that it will suffer cuts that could result in 424,000 fewer HIV tests offered by state agencies.
Mental Health America has also released a study based on the original fiscal cliff cuts that show:
More than 320,000 children will not receive coordinated mental health services, early intervention and prevention programming, and other suicide prevention services
11,000 fewer professionals will receive youth suicide prevention training
20,000 trauma recovery providers will lose access to evidence-based best practices and training
684,000 individuals will lose critical employment and housing assistance, case management services, and school-based support
It seems like every interest group in the country has allied to stop the sequester and most organizations are opposed to any non-defense discretionary cuts. So it’s safe to say that the only people in favor of fiddling around with this sequester business are the politicians who are apparently using this legislation as political collateral against each other. Given how Washington has handled this huge, looming, ominous shadow of an issue in the not-so-distant past, I’m sure they will make a last minute decision to postpone this decision and we will all decide to forget about the whole thing until…oh, say, sometime in May. I guess I’ll see you in two months.