President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget warns that the sequester will cause children to miss vaccinations, even though he proposed a larger spending cut to the program in his budget — a cut that the Center for Disease Control says would not affect vaccinations.
Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., elicited the admission from CDC director Tom Friedan yesterday. “In Maryland, about 2050 fewer children would receive vaccines due to reduced funding for vaccinations,” Harris quoted from an OMB document, before reminding Harris that Obama’s budget proposal cut the vaccine program by $58 million, compared to just $30 million cut by sequestration.
“So, actually, the president cut the program by twice as much in his budget,” Harris said. “Can I assume that the president’s proposed cut would have reduced funding [for] 4,100 children in Maryland?”
Friedan defended Obama from such a charge. “We’ve looked at ways that we can run that more efficiently,” he said. “We believe that we could have maintained vaccination levels, yes.”