A visit to Sen. Allard’s office … | SummitDaily.com

A visit to Sen. Allard’s office …

Two weeks ago I visited Senator Allard’s office in Washington to plead with his staff to ask their boss to resist further cuts in our national public health budget. The two main federal public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the lead agency in planning for an avain flu pandemic and bioterrorism response, for example – and the Health Resources and Services Administration – are responsible for such areas critical to Colorado as community health clinics, rural health care, health workforce development, maternal and child health, area health education centers, among others, took a huge budget cut last year. This year’s budget proposes even further cuts, large by these programs’ standards, small by the standard of the recent supplemental appropriation ($109 billion).Sen. Allard, who sits on the Senate Appropriation Committee and has influence over where our taxpayer dollars are spent, refuses, his staff said, to fund any program if it would increase the deficit (no matter how small the request). He therefore would not even consider restoration of vital funds to our nation’s public health agencies.Last week he voted to extend tax cuts to our nation’s wealthiest in the amount of $70 billion, thus ramping up our deficit hugely and for years to come. No money for public health, huge deficit-busting tax cuts for the wealthy? I don’t get it. Senator Allard doesn’t either. Enough is enough.

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