The fiscal disaster facing the states means more than potholing roads and laid off teachers and cops, and other unpleasant consequences that get public attention. The states are responsible for most of the public health effort in this country, and public health is getting slammed. Brian Rosman of Health Care for All -- Massachusetts runs it down for the People's Republic. Not pretty:
Public health programs took wrenching cuts. The House Ways and Means proposal calls for cutting nearly a quarter of the DPH budget compared to the FY09 budget, and some areas were cut deeper. Compared to FY 09, these are the budget cuts proposed in the following areas:
Health Promotion/Disease Prevention – 50%
Oral Health – 41%
Domestic Violence Prevention and Services – 37%
Smoking Prevention and Cessation Services – 37%
Infection Prevention and Control Program – 32%
Early Intervention, a cost-effective program serving children birth to three with developmental delays – 27%
School Health Services – 23%
Teen Pregnancy Prevention – 22%
Substance Abuse Services – 21%
Communicable Disease Control Program and State Laboratory – 15%
Now, think about it. What happens when you have more infectious disease, more domestic violence, more people smoking, more pregnant teenagers, more substance abuse, more kids who hit school age with developmental delays . . .
You spend more money on health care, you have a less productive workforce, you have more kids who fail in school, you have more social pathology, more crime and more people in jail, and you are a poorer and meaner and sadder society.
In the meantime, the people who work in those programs are out of work, which means they can't spend at local restaurants and stores and the state collects less in taxes as a result and so on and so forth. So, Cato Institute psychos and self-destructive teabaggers:
We need to spend in deficit now in order to make the investments that are necessary to pull the country out of recession in the short term, and prevent long term damage to our society that will make us worse off in the future and make it that much more difficult to pay off the debts we have already incurred. Teabag that.