Several Monmouth County Health Department Programs, Services Could be Harmed by Sequestration
Monmouth County Health Department responds to the anticipated spending cuts.
Funding for health care in New Jersey stands to drop by $3,922,000 if the "sequestration" spending cuts scheduled to take hold March 1 go into effect, the White House said.
The sudden decrease would pull about $840,000 in funding for responding to public health threats, $2,330,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, and $752,000 from the state's Department of Health and Senior Services.
Michael Meddis, the public health coordinator and health official for Monmouth County, noted that the statewide cuts could have a very big impact locally.
The county, he explained, uses federal funding to help support a number of programs and services including their emergency preparedness programs for a public health emergency such as the spread of infectious disease, immunization programs such as the flu vaccine and HIV testing services.
The county health department will have to take a wait-and-see approach to the funding cuts to know exactly how much will be taken from exactly which programs as nothing yet is written in stone, he said.
"We won't know for another month or two what the funding would be or what the cuts would be. It affects a lot of our programs," Meddis said. "We have to look at our budget and see where we have to make cuts if that is what it amounts to."
He is not overly concerned as the public health department is accustomed to decreases in funding.
"We're kind of used to that," he said. "Public health has taken some big hits over the years."