The Worst Sequester Cut

Feb 27 2013 @ 12:48pm

Kent Sepkowitz’s pick:

[F]ederal support of the vaccination of children may be the best example of well-spent federal dollars. Because any time vaccination is stopped—­for religious or ideological or personal reasons—disease reappears. In the last decade, the U.S. and Europe have seen the return of pertussis (whooping cough), mumps, and measles due to incomplete vaccination, while Africa and Asia continue to battle outbreaks of polio. The famous Swine flu pandemic of 2009 infected about 60 million Americans and demonstrated the startling reach of a dangerous disease without an effective vaccination. And yet, with the sequester set to shave $2.4 billion off public health initiatives, there will be 840,000 fewer vaccinations—shots not given to infants and children (and a few adults) to prevent infections, all cheap to prevent and expensive to treat.