Local health officials explain impact of the sequester

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The future of jobs, military supportand health services have been hot topics when discussing the sequester incongress.

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

Angelina County Health DistrictAdministrator Sharon Shaw says over time the automatic cuts will have a majorimpact on the services the health district offers to the community on a day today basis.

"Vaccines may be more expensive or harderto get also some of our preparedness activities will be hampered by lessfunding," said Shaw.

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

"We will see a number of smaller cutsthat will gradually take away some of the spending and jobs we would have seenlocally," said Collier.

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

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

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

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

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