The state Department of Public Health said Tuesday that it
expects funding reductions from sequestration, but added
that it's unclear so far how much money or what programs
will be cut.
timeline for decisions on federal reductions is also
unknown, said Kate Pfirman, chief financial officer of
Public Health, at an agency board meeting Tuesday.
Sequestration, or the "sequester,'' is a series of automatic
cuts to government agencies, resulting from the federal debt
ceiling compromise of 2011.
expected to see large cuts in federal health spending
include maternal and children's health, mental health, and
community health centers, according
to a Stateline article. State
and local agencies that receive federal funding, meanwhile,
are facing uncertainty as federal departments figure out the
Larry Lehman, executive director of AID Gwinnett/Ric
Crawford Clinic, told GHN, "From what we've heard, it's a
possibility of up to a 5 percent cut'' in federal funding to
occurs, it would likely lead to fewer HIV/AIDS patients
served, he said.
Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, meanwhile,
says sequestration nationally will result in up to 15,000
clients losing access to lifesaving medications they receive
through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
of those patients who will be disenrolled live in the South,
including 200 to 300 people in Georgia, NASTAD says.
"Any cut to
ADAP is a huge problem,'' Lehman said. The medications
suppress patients' viral loads, and they reduce HIV
transmission rates in general, he noted.
article said sequestration will cut $303 million from the
CDC, which on average provides 40 percent of states' public
Tuesday that the total impact of sequestration "is unknown
to us because federal agencies have flexibility on what to
The only item
in Public Health's budget exempt from the cuts is the
Vaccines for Children program, she said.
will keep the governor's office, legislators, board members
and district health offices updated on the reductions,
the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
Disabilities said Tuesday that the sequester is expected to
reduce the agency's block grant funding by a total of almost
$5 million on an annualized basis.
According to the agency's estimate, its Social Services
Block Grant would take a cut of $1.7 million; the Substance
Abuse and Prevention Treatment Block Grant, $2.5 million;
and the Community Mental Health Block Grant, $700,000.