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UPDATE: Now The Sequester Is Literally Killing People

April 30, 2013

Courtesy of the Star Tribune

In my last post, I included a short, but growing, list of victims of the sequester cuts.  Now the sequester is hitting cancer patients, too:

Last week the sequester cuts kicked in at airports and caused affluent business fliers to experience some delays, so Congress acted immediately to fix it. The same sequester has been forcing cancer clinics to send away patients so they can’t receive the chemotherapy that they hope will keep them alive. Is Congress rushing to the rescue like they did for affluent business travelers who faced some flight delays? Not so much. They do have their priorities, after all. ( – emphasis mine)

Dave Johnson over at Campaign For America’s Future goes on to list a disturbing slew of news reports detailing cuts to cancer clinic services, and even clinic closings.

ThinkProgress: Cancer Clinics: Congress Should Have Restored Our Sequester Cuts Before Addressing Airport Delays,

After automatic budget cuts slashed their funding, cancer clinics have been forced to delay chemotherapy treatment for their patients. Some clinics may actually have to close their doors altogether if the sequester cuts are not reversed. As several cancer doctors told the Hill, they suspect they may not have been at the top at Congress’ list because reduced access to chemotherapy doesn’t personally inconvenience lawmakers in the same way that airport delays do.

The worst part? The professed reason for sequestration was to reduce Federal spending and the debt. Alas:

The kicker, it doesn’t even save the government money, instead it costs money:

The care will likely be more expensive: One study from actuarial firm Milliman found that chemotherapy delivered in a hospital setting costs the federal government an average of $6,500 more annually than care delivered in a community clinic.

So not only does this sequester kill people, it costs the government much more than it saves.

UPDATE: Think Progress reports today on one more way sequestration may prove to be a killer:  As Sequestration Slashes Drug Research Funding, Drug-Resistant Malaria Emerges

One Comment leave one →
  1. polspectator permalink
    May 2, 2013 10:55 am

    Great post! Good aggregation of sources too. You could also add in Susan Thistlethwaite’s comments on the morality of it all. See

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