California’s health care sector is expecting millions of dollars in cuts and potential job losses if the automatic federal spending cuts known as "sequestration" take place on Friday.
Anticipated cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget could delay or erase research funding for 12,000 California scientists, says Dr. Kavita Patel, an adjunct professor at UCLA and a fellow at the Brookings Institute.
She says the NIH is "one of the largest grant-making bodies to states like California, so it’s hard to know exactly how many researchers could lose their jobs."
And Patel says the cuts might not stop there.
California's public health system is gearing up for about $17 million in cuts as well, she says.
They could include $12.4 million in cuts to federal substance abuse grants that will affect about 9,500 California residents, as well as $1 million in cuts to childhood vaccination programs that will keep about 15,000 California children from getting important childhood vaccines, says Patel.