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False Economies

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False Economies

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Yes, more about US politics, I'm afraid.

The Republicans have been trying their hardest to cut funding for all the things they hate. I mean, at least they've been seen to be trying; for some of it, you can only guess that they know they'll fail, but they can proudly point to the fact that they tried, and it will make the people who voted for them very, very happy. The degree to which this is merely cynical manipulation of the electorate is left to the reader's imagination.

Some of it I can understand, if one were to accept the Republican viewpoint as valid. Take the House vote to defund Planned Parenthood a couple of weeks ago, for example. I mean, Planned Parenthood provide sex education, support for pregnant single women, and worst of all abortions; since sex education (beyond "abstinence only") seems to be generally frowned on, single mothers are obviously the downfall of society, and abortions are obviously evil (<--sarcasm, here, folks), then it makes absolute sense that PP are bad and should not have any Federal support. Nevermind the fact that abortions are less than 3% of what they do, their low-cost contraception, prenatal wellness and cancer screening for poor women takes up far more of their time and effort and money, and they fill a healthcare gap for poor women where there is no other service in existence which covers this area in the US; and nevermind that they already keep Federal funds strictly sequestered for non-abortion healthcare. Abortion=bad="PP should not get support" (let's face it, healthcare for poor women was never a Republican priority under the best of circumstances).

But then we get to their vote to kill the funding for Poison Control Centers.

...What?

The American Association of Poison Control Centers takes over 4 million calls per year. Each call costs in the region of $30-$40. An ER visit will inevitably -- MUST inevitably -- cost far more than that, and in the case of the many uninsured, will cost the government and other taxpayers. The majority of Poison Control Center calls actually result in the case NOT having to go to the ER. As the NY Times article points out, "A study in the Journal of Medical Toxicology estimated that the poison centers saved the State of Arizona alone $33 million a year."

(And as a healthcare worker has pointed out elsewhere, sorry don't have the link to hand, even ER technicians make use of Poisone Control Center expertise!)

And it's not like only poor kids of single mums get poisoned.

So what, exactly, is the rationale, here? "We have too many people, let's get rid of a few on a random basis"? And nevermind the increased cost in all the states, when overburdened ERs get hit with this new double-whammy?

It beggars belief, it frankly does.

Yes, a tough budget means tough choices, but this is not sensible under any particular way that I can stretch that word.



....That's leaving aside Obama's massive betrayal of his electorate in his decision to defund Energy Assistance for the elderly poor, something the Republicans didn't even ask for, and all the other ways in which the budget overall looks like a war against women, children and the poor, because as everyone knows, the best way to get the country out of a deep recession and avoid depression is to let the poor keep getting poorer. But hey; at least the military is still able to spend millions sponsoring NASCAR. It's a good thing that they know what's important, right?

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