Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Five Ways the Federal Budget Cuts Could Affect Your Health:

According to the Senior Public Health Correspondent for AOL News, the budget cuts being proposed by Republicans in the House AND the Obama administration both put America's health at risk. Here's a list of five federally funded organizations that are likely to get cut, and what it might mean for your health.

#1.) The Consumer Product Safety Commission. This week, they're launching a long-awaited public database of products. For the first time you'll be able to easily find any safety hazards associated with things you buy and things you already own. The database is supposedly huge, but the proposed budget cuts would slash their funding, and they wouldn't be able to keep the database current. The budget cuts would also end a policy that requires manufacturers to have every product tested for safety by an outside company.

#2.) Poison Control Centers. The bill that recently passed the House would cut 93% of the funding, and close 57 centers around the country. Meanwhile, accidental poisoning is one of the top causes of unintentional death in the U.S.

#3.) The Environmental Protection Agency. The House bill aims to eliminate one third of the E.P.A.'s funding, and it would prevent the public from reviewing offshore drilling permits. According to the head of a non-profit called the Environmental Working Group, the cuts would also jeopardize the quality of our air and water. And he predicted a spike in asthma cases around the country.

#4.) The Occupational Safety and Health Administration. They're the people in charge of making sure construction companies and factories don't do things that put their employee's lives at risk. And the proposed 18% cuts in the House bill would result in about 8,000 fewer hazard inspections around the country each year.

#5.) The U.S.D.A. and the Food and Drug Administration. 500 million more pounds of beef and poultry are expected to be processed this year. But in both Obama's budget AND the House budget, the U.S.D.A. isn't getting the money to hire more inspectors. So that means the same number of workers will have to work longer hours to inspect more food. And it'll increase the chances of bad meat and poultry showing up in the grocery store.

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