New Report Says Budget Cuts Make Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Secure

In a new report released on November 11, titled Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Secure, NDD United tells the stories of people who have been affected by federal budget cuts, including across-the-board cuts known as sequestration.

NDD United is a coalition of leaders joining forces in an effort to save public services (known in Congress as nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs) from budget cuts.

The report highlights not just how budget cuts over the last several decades have affected everything from scientific research to special education, but also gives specific examples of Americans who have been impacted by the cuts.

The report breaks down how budget cuts have affected Americans sector-by-sector. Here are some highlights from the report’s public health section:

  • In fiscal year 2013, the federal government spent about 1 percent of its total budget on public health; the equivalent of just 0.2 percent of our nation’s overall economy.
  • Since fiscal year 2010, federal discretionary funding for public health has been cut nearly 12 percent—including sequestration, but before accounting for inflation —with wide variation in how these cuts are distributed across federal agencies.
  • Core discretionary budgets for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and the Health Resources Services Administration have been cut 19 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
  • The bulk of federal public health dollars—for CDC, as much as 70 percent—flows directly to state and local health departments and other external partners.
  • Since 2008, 46,000 state and local public health professionals have been laid off—those who monitor and respond to outbreaks, immunize children and the elderly, and inspect restaurants.

For more statistics, to read stories about real people impacted by these numbers, or to read the full report, visit


Date originally posted: November 15, 2013.