Late last week, the White House released a fact sheet on the impact of the sequestration scheduled to occur on March 1st. The fact sheet can be viewed here. The most important takeaway from the fact sheet is the paragraph noting the new official estimates from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the impact of the sequester. OMB states:
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) now calculates that sequestration will require an annual reduction of roughly 5 percent for nondefense programs and roughly 8 percent for defense programs. However, given that these cuts must be achieved over only seven months instead of 12, the effective percentage reductions will be approximately 9 percent for nondefense programs and 13 percent for defense programs. These large and arbitrary cuts will have severe impacts across the government.
Because the sequester will occur 3 months into the fiscal year, the reduction percentage will be higher than original unofficial estimates as outlined in our previous blog.
Health center advocates should use the 9% funding reduction estimate to illustrate the impact of sequestration on their health center. This percentage is the best estimate we have, but how the actual cut would be implemented and applied to the Health Center program remains unclear. We will continue to post additional information on sequestration as we receive it.
Health center advocates should also be sure to continue to contact their Members of Congress and urge them to avert the sequester through the Action Alert sent by our advocacy team last week. Your efforts will be crucial to ensuring health centers do not face significant funding reductions.