3:15 am - Thursday December 14, 2017

#GOPSequester: Colorado

All over Colorado – at healthcare clinics, at correction facilities,
at job training programs- people are bracing for sequestration cuts.
Yet Republicans in Congress continue to refuse to work toward a
balanced compromise to stopping the devastating effects of these
drastic budget cuts.

Sequester means cuts to Colorado health, medical programs

Denver Post // Michael Booth

Sequestration will pare millions of dollars from Colorado Medicare
payments, medical research, pure lab science and doctor education in
coming months, local health officials said Friday. As a result, there
could eventually be longer waiting times for elderly hospital
patients, fewer childhood vaccinations, and roadblocks for
groundbreaking research proposals. Hospitals face some of the most
tangible near-term problems, as the sequester cuts Medicare spending
by 2 percent. The Colorado Hospital Association estimates a loss of
$35 million at state hospitals in the first year if cuts remain. With
other trims of hospital spending in the Affordable Care Act, and
proposals to cut rural hospital subsidies, the sequester is a direct
threat to small, rural hospitals, said CHA president Steven Summer.
“There are some so dependent on Medicare and Medicaid that it could
threaten their long- term viability,” Summer said.

Local impacts of $85 billion in federal budget cuts still unclear

Aspen Daily News // Andrew Travers

Local ramifications of the forced across-the-board federal budget
cuts, known as “sequestration,” are likely to be felt in the forest
and at the airport. The $85 billion in automatic spending cuts became
law Friday, as federal lawmakers failed to pass new budget
legislation. The sequester’s impacts will play out over the coming
weeks and months, as local federal employees and resources are
trimmed. Exactly where and when they’ll hit Aspen and the Roaring Fork
Valley remains unclear to federal officials in Colorado. In a letter
regarding the sequester’s impact on the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, which oversees the U.S. Forest Service, Secretary Tom
Vilsack said an estimated 670 forest sites nationwide would close due
to the sequester. Those would include campgrounds, picnic areas,
trails, and visitor centers.

What can Colorado expect from sequestration?

KOAA // Tony Spehar

The possibility of furlough days and staffing cuts is a concern for
government employees in Fremont County, most work in corrections
facilities. “The inmate population doesn’t go home for the weekend,
doesn’t go home for a couple of days of furlough, we don’t shut-down
we, never shut-down,” explained Mike Snobrich with the American
Federation of Government Employees. “We need to maintain the safety
and security of these institutions.” With around $40-billion in cuts
coming out of Defense Department spending Fort Carson and other
military instillations are also looking at scaling back. The Mountain
Post will have to furlough each of their 3,000 civilian employees one
day a week starting in April. Commanders have expressed their concern
that furlough days will affect services for soldiers and their
families as well as training and readiness.

Workforce Boulder County: Effects of Sequester will be felt heavily in
coming year

Longmont Times Call // Tony Kindelspire

Training and job search assistance will take the biggest hit,
according to the CDLE. According to data compiled by Cher Haavind, the
CDLE’s director of communications, 10 percent fewer people will have
access to training through the federal Employment and Training Grant
known as the Workforce Investment Act. Last year, 9,579 adults and
low-income youths in Colorado received this training.

Basic job search assistance funds would also be reduced by about 10
percent. Last year 500,000 Coloradans, including veterans, received
job search assistance. The CDLE said that staffing cuts could be a
possibility, meaning less one-on-one job counseling and case
management.

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