Published On: Nov 30 2012 10:57:49 AM CSTUpdated On: Nov 30 2012 10:58:56 AM CST
Everyone agrees the fiscal cliff would be devastating if lawmakers can't come to an agreement. CNN lists 10 ways the tax hikes and spending cuts could also hurt your physical and emotional health.
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Health Affairs -- Americans want this office fully operational if terrorists attack the country using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. It builds national plans in case of terrorist attacks, helps first responders and protects the department itself from health threats, but is set to lose $14 million.
Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes -- This federal agency helps eliminate lead-based paint in private homes and low-income housing. It also helps prevent disease and injuries that result from hazards such as radon, poor indoor air quality and even poor lighting that can lead to falls. The agency stands to lose $10 million.
Food For Lower-Income Families -- The Women Infant and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program, known as WIC, would lose about $543 million. Child nutrition programs would be cut by $4 million, while Commodity Assistance would lose $5 million. Other nutrition programs would lose $11 million, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program would lose $8 million under the fiscal cliff cuts.
Medicare -- Under the fiscal cliff, this health program's budget would be cut by $11 billion, resulting in lower payments to doctors, hospitals, long-term care facilities and nursing homes. Some fear the facilities could stop taking Medicare patients as a result.
NIH -- The National Institutes of Health stands to lose more than $2.5 billion under the fiscal cliff cuts. Ultimately, this would impact academic labs and research institutions in every single state and could lead to fewer cures and therapies to fight common diseases.
Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program -- This home visiting program helps pregnant women or women with children under 5 who may need additional help with maternal and child health issues. Studies show it reduces crime and domestic violence, but it stands to lose roughly $30 million in funding.
Social Security -- Automatic cuts would dramatically reduce services to the more than 8 million Americans deemed too disabled to work. The federal disability insurance budget alone would be cut $241 million for discretionary spending.
CDC -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works to prevent the spread of food-borne illnesses, stop the spread of the flu and monitor disease outbreaks, reduce the number of hospital-acquired illnesses, increase immunizations and to create tools to help communities protect public health. It would lose more than $464 million from its overall budget.
Food Safety -- The proposed 8.2 percent cut would slash the budget for plant and animal health inspections by $71 million.That could mean fewer inspectors -- and fewer inspections, which ultimately could mean a food supply that isn't as safe as it is now.
Gallaudet University -- With an 8.2 percent budget cut, funds for the leading undergraduate liberal arts education program for the deaf and hard of hearing would be reduced by $10 million. It has an international reputation for its education programs and research related to deaf people.