(COMMON DREAMS) Julia Conley, March 9, 2019
Alzheimer’s patients, lower-income preschool children, and HIV and cancer patients are among the Americans whose needs may go unmet so that the Trump administration can afford to detain thousands of migrant children.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told Congress this week that he plans to divert $385 million from numerous healthcare programs to pay for detention centers across the country where more than 15,000 young undocumented immigrants are currently being held.
“We cannot continue to spend taxpayer dollars on the President’s manufactured crisis at the border, which is government-sanctioned child abuse.” —Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)
About $286 million will be taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and HHS’s programs for children and families, according to The Hill. Programs including HIV prevention and Head Start are expected to be affected.
“The Trump administration is once again robbing vital health and human services initiatives in order to pay for their failed policies,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) Friday. DeLauro chairs an appropriations subcommittee in the House which deals with healthcare funding.
“This $385 million reallocation takes money away from groundbreaking medical research into HIV/AIDS, cancer, mental health, as well as from Head Start, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and much more,” the congresswoman added. “We cannot continue to spend taxpayer dollars on the President’s manufactured crisis at the border, which is government-sanctioned child abuse.”
Azar’s notification came six months after he reallocated $446 million from healthcare programs—including those addressing teen pregnancy prevention, flu vaccine research, and women’s cancer research—for the same reason.