This Has Got to Be the Strangest Impact of the Sequester

National Journal
Brian Resnick
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
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 »
UNTIL AFTER RECESS
Health Care Vote Delayed
13 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
SO SAYS CORNYN
Senate Procedural Vote Now Coming on Wednesday
14 hours ago
THE LATEST
MCCONNELL’S BACK AGAINST THE WALL
Heller, Paul Won’t Vote on Motion to Proceed
1 days ago
THE LATEST
LESS THAN HOUSE BILL
CBO Says 22 Million More Would Be UNinsured
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

The Senate bill "would increase the number of people without health insurance by 22 million by 2026, a figure that is only slightly lower than the 23 million more uninsured that the House version would create. Next year, 15 million more people would be uninsured compared with current law...The legislation would decrease federal deficits by a total of $321 billion over a decade."

Source:
BEFORE JULY 4 RECESS
Cornyn Says Health Vote Needed This Week
1 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

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