Local health officials explain impact of the sequester - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Local health officials explain impact of the sequester

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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

The future of jobs, military support and health services have been hot topics when discussing the sequester in congress.

"If the sequester stands for a long period of time we will gradually see some cuts and those will go deeper and deeper as time goes, Sharon Shaw, Administrator, Angelina County Health District."

Angelina County Health District Administrator Sharon Shaw says over time the automatic cuts will have a major impact on the services the health district offers to the community on a day to day basis.

 "Vaccines may be more expensive or harder to get also some of our preparedness activities will be hampered by less funding," said Shaw.

SFA Political Science Professor Ken Collier says the military is the most heavily impacted by the sequester but says East Texans can expect to slowly feel the presence of the cuts not only in public health care but in schools, law enforcement and potential jobs.

 "We will see a number of smaller cuts that will gradually take away some of the spending and jobs we would have seen locally," said Collier.

Shaw says minor cuts within the next six month and grants renewed at a lower level will mean less funding across the board for adult's and children's health care.

"We're hoping to maintain levels as usual and closely watching grants," said Shaw.

Texas will potentially lose over two million dollars in funds for public health threats and over six million dollars in grants to help and prevent substance abuse.

Nationally WIC will also endure budget cuts but local officials say because of previous cuts, local chapters won't be affected right away.

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