This Has Got to Be the Strangest Impact of the Sequester

National Journal
Brian Resnick
Add to Briefcase
Brian Resnick
Aug. 19, 2013, 11:34 a.m.

The se­quester has now killed bun­nies. Yes, furry, in­no­cent, blind, lab-test bun­nies have been put to sleep be­cause of a $1.7 bil­lion cut in the budget for the Na­tion­al In­sti­tutes of Health. A re­search oph­thal­mo­lo­gist writ­ing to the Huff­ing­ton Post in re­sponse to a story about sci­ence cuts says Con­gress is the reas­on why he killed the bun­nies he pet­ted, played with, and ex­per­i­mented on. (Via Grist)

I have riffed one postdoc­tor­al fel­low and eu­th­an­ized many beau­ti­ful, rare, and ex­pens­ive trans­gen­ic rab­bits that were new, ex­cit­ing mod­els for test­ing new ther­apies for hu­man ret­in­al de­gen­er­a­tions. We pet­ted them, played with them, fed them treats. Now they are dead. I blame Con­gress dir­ectly for that.

The bun­nies are in­deed a sad loss. But per­haps more il­lus­trat­ive is how the re­search­er de­scribes how the fund­ing cuts forced him to end his pro­ject early, thus wast­ing a lot of money that had already been spent.

Moreover the se­quester’s cost is tre­mend­ously un­der­stated as no one is count­ing the des­troyed in­vest­ments. I’ve spent over $25,000 de­vel­op­ing a colony of an­im­als who have a pro­gress­ive age-de­pend­ent blind­ness. Be­cause of the se­quester we’ve killed them be­fore we could fin­ish the treat­ment study. We saved about $4,000 from this year’s budget. We thus wasted 5x more money than the se­quester saved. When and if Con­gress ever does any­thing again, it will be years be­fore we get our new blind­ness-treat­ment study back on line. If it doesn’t get bet­ter soon, I’ll re­tire early and then 15 people will be un­em­ployed.

What We're Following See More »
VOTE TO GO FORWARD
Collins, Cruz Appear to Oppose Health Bill
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Republican opposition to the GOP health care bill swelled to near-fatal numbers Sunday as Sen. Susan Collins all but closed the door on supporting the last-ditch effort to scrap the Obama health care law and Sen. Ted Cruz said that "right now" he doesn't back it. White House legislative liaison Marc Short and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of the measure's sponsors, said Republicans would press ahead with a vote this week." Collins said she doesn't support the bill's cuts to Medicaid, while Cruz said it wouldn't do enough to lower premiums.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login