Researchers: Austerity is "having a devastating effect on health in Europe and North America, driving suicide"

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stimulus austerity

A few days ago, Think Progress posted "Food Infections Rose In 2012, But Government Is Still Gutting Food Safety Programs."  Yes, by all means, what America needs is more budget cuts. Who cares about the nation’s collective health and well being when we can cut into programs we really need?

Additionally, the IMF said that the Europe austerity strategy is dragging down global growth. Details, details. European austerity is costing lives, plus, mental illness, suicide rates and epidemics are on the rise as access to care has dwindled.

What part of austerity is a really bad idea don't Republicans get?

Now Reuters is buttressing those reports with this:

Austerity is having a devastating effect on health in Europe and North America, driving suicide, depression and infectious diseases and reducing access to medicines and care, researchers said on Monday.

Detailing a decade of research, Oxford University political economist David Stuckler [a senior researcher at Oxford University and co-author The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills] and Sanjay Basu, an assistant professor of medicine and an epidemiologist at Stanford University, said their findings show austerity is seriously bad for health. [...]

[M]ore than five million Americans have lost access to healthcare during the latest recession, they argue, while in Britain, some 10,000 families have been pushed into homelessness by the government's austerity budget.

Stuckler went on to say that there have been "HIV and malaria outbreaks, shortages of essential medicines, lost healthcare access, and an avoidable epidemic of alcohol abuse, depression and suicide... Austerity is having a devastating effect."

By catering to corporate interests and their own self-interests, the GOP is only making matters horribly worse. We should be investing in jobs, infrastructure, and stimulus plans that would result in growth, not be eliminating jobs and life-saving programs and killing our own citizens.

USA! USA!

Instead, we're cutting the very things that keep us safe, healthy, and alive. Think Progress:

The United States has seen multiple outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in the last three years while budget cuts have targeted food safety and inspection agencies, and the first major modernization of its food safety laws was hamstrung by spending cuts. Education cuts have hit school lunch and other nutrition programs. Other deficit reduction efforts have hammered health programs. And those problems are only going to get worse as sequestration — the automatic budget cuts implemented on March 1 — continue to take effect.

Nice to see Republicans reaching out to their fellow Americans, just like they said they would with that spiffy reinvention they love to crow about.

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