Government shutdown: How it could affect your health

A authorities shutdown may have far-reaching results for public well being, together with the nation’s response to the present, troublesome flu season. It can additionally disrupt some federally supported well being providers, specialists say.

In all, the Division of Well being and Human Providers will ship house — or furlough — about half of its staff, or almost forty one,000 individuals, in line with an HHS shutdown contingency plan launched Friday.

Listed here are some federal providers and packages shoppers may be questioning about:


In accordance with the HHS plan, the CDC will droop its flu-monitoring program. That’s dangerous timing, given the nation is on the peak of a very dangerous flu season, stated Peter Hotez, dean of the Nationwide Faculty of Tropical Drugs at Baylor School of Drugs in Houston. With out the CDC’s updates, docs might have a more durable time diagnosing and treating sufferers shortly, he stated.

Though states will nonetheless monitor flu instances, “they gained’t have the ability to name CDC to confirm samples or search their experience,” stated Thomas Frieden, who was the director of the company in the course of the 2013 authorities shutdown.

A authorities shutdown may even have an effect on the CDC’s involvement in key selections about subsequent yr’s flu vaccine, that are scheduled to be made in coming weeks, stated Arnold Monto, a professor of worldwide public well being on the College of Michigan.

Past the flu, the CDC will present solely “minimal help” to packages that examine infectious-illness outbreaks. The Atlanta-based mostly company’s capacity to check suspicious pathogens and keep its 24-hour emergency operations middle will probably be “considerably decreased,” in accordance with the plan.

That would forestall the CDC from figuring out clusters of signs and illness “which are the earliest indicators of outbreaks,” Frieden stated.


Though the NIH will proceed to deal with sufferers at its medical middle in Bethesda, Md., the company won’t enroll new sufferers in medical trials — which many individuals with life-threatening sicknesses see as their final hope.


Beneficiaries can be largely unaffected by a shutdown, particularly whether it is brief. Sufferers will proceed to obtain their insurance coverage protection, and Medicare will proceed to course of reimbursement funds to medical suppliers. However these checks could possibly be delayed if the shutdown is extended.

Clouds are mirrored within the U.S….

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