Republicans just announced plans to eliminate a fund that was created by Obamacare and predictably, The Washington Post is up in arms about how it “guts crucial” health funding.
Washington Post reporter Lena H. Sun blasted GOP plans to replace Obamacare because it would rein in spending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the story ignored years of complaints over CDC waste and duplication of work done by other federal agencies.
Sun claimed the new legislation “would eliminate funds for fundamental public health programs” because it would cut the agency’s budget about 12 percent. The proposal would eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund which provides almost $1 billion per year to the CDC. It was created by the Affordable Care Act.
Her story included CDC officials and advocacy groups who claimed it would “cripple” the CDC’s efforts to combat infectious diseases and pandemics. While including those vehemently opposed to the potential budget cut, Sun did not include any advocates of the bill or critics of the CDC.
In December 2016, a study by EconoSTATS showed the CDC had been duplicating work done by 19 other federal agencies. Study co-author and EconoSTATS editor Wayne Winegarden said “mission creep at the CDC has led to many activities that duplicate the work of other government institutes, administrations, and commissions.”
Instead of bringing up EconoSTATS’ findings, Sun cited acting CDC director Anne Schuchat, who claimed opposition to this funding cut “is about protecting Americans, so this is about saving lives” and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials who claimed the cuts “could amount to a catastrophic year for public health funding.”
The fund has only existed since 2010, yet according an agency summary, the cuts would “cripple CDC’s ability to detect, prevent and respond to vaccine-preventable respiratory and related infectious diseases threats, including pandemic influenza.”
In contrast to the Post, average Americans say federal waste is a real problem. According to a 2014 poll from Gallup, “Americans estimate that the federal government wastes 51 cents of each tax dollar.”