Sequestration Means 424,000 Less HIV Tests and 540,000 Fewer Vaccines for Diseases like Flu, Measles and Hepatitis

Feb 22, 2013 economic justice contributor Imara Jones visited Democracy Now this week to discuss the sequestration battle and the trillion-dollar budget cuts that are set to begin in a matter of days. Jones said the automatic, across-the-board cuts made in government spending will hit communities of color, the working poor and other marginalized groups especially hard.

"For communities of color and communities that have been hard hit by the recession, it’s a nuclear bomb that’s waiting to go off," Jones told Democracy Now.

Jones explained how poor folks could be affected by sequestration: 

It reads like a laundry list, and we could take up the rest of the time going through the list. But some of the critical areas are: 125,000 people will lose Section 8 housing, which is critical housing support for the working poor; 100,000 people who are homeless will not receive the support that they need without a place to go; there won’t be 450,000 AIDS tests; something like 500,000 vaccines won’t be manufactured; a million people won’t be able to access community health centers; unemployment insurance for four million long-term unemployed will be cut by 10 percent; in terms of education, 70,000 kids won’t have access to Head Start; another 30,000 in terms of child care assistance. And then, if the sequestration goes on, because, you know, it’s a rolling–sort of a rolling storm, if it goes on through the summer and into the fall, the programs that support up to 20 million of the nation’s poorest students will be cut and are in jeopardy.

Read Imara Jones’ Colorlines story titled "What’s ‘Sequestration’ Mean in Real Life?" for more details.