Sequestration could be bad for your health

POSTED: Sunday, March 3, 2013, 5:05 AM
Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., Professor, Earle Mack School of Law & Drexel School of Public Health

With no deal in Washington to stop it, the sequestration of federal funds is about to begin. It could be enough to make you sick – literally.

Some of the automatic budget cuts won’t be felt for months, if sequestration lasts that long. But several cuts involving health care will hit us much sooner. And they could hit us hard.

Here are five to be especially concerned about. (Figures for their impacts this year in Pennsylvania are available here.) Continue reading “Sequestration could be bad for your health”

Environmental Protections Threatened by Sequestration and Funding Cuts

Federal agencies have started feeling the impact of the across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration, that went into effect March 1. Plans to furlough employees and cut programs are underway at many of the agencies charged with issuing and enforcing public health and safety standards. For the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these additional funding cuts will further drain already decreasing resources and impair the agency’s ability to protect our air, water, and health. Continue reading “Environmental Protections Threatened by Sequestration and Funding Cuts”

Small Businesses, Public Health, and Scientific Integrity: Whose Interests Does the Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration Serve?

This report examines the activities of an independent office within the Small Business Administration: the Office of Advocacy. The Office of Advocacy has responsibility for ensuring that federal agencies evaluate the small business impacts of the rules they adopt. Scientific assessments are not “rules” and do not regulate small business, yet the Office of Advocacy decided to comment on technical, scientific assessments of the cancer risks of formaldehyde, styrene, and chromium. By its own admission, Advocacy lacks the scientific expertise to evaluate the merits of such assessments.

The report analyzes correspondence and materials received through a Freedom of Information Act request made by staff at the Center for Effective Government. Our inquiry was driven by two questions. Why did the Office of Advocacy get involved in the debate over scientific assessments that do not regulate small business? Whose interests does the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration actually serve? Continue reading “Small Businesses, Public Health, and Scientific Integrity: Whose Interests Does the Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration Serve?”