Mary Selecky Testifies Before House Committee on Effect of Federal Sequestration on Public Health

Feb. 21, 2013

Mary Selecky, secretary of the Washington State Department of Health, spoke today in a U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing regarding the impact of sequestration on public health in Washington and in other states.

In her testimony, which was broadcast live on C-SPAN, Selecky discussed state public health agencies' important work, using the 2012 Washington state whooping cough outbreak as a central example. She then described the real-world health impacts of public health funding reductions and walked through specific examples of how federal sequestration would harm the health and well-being of Washington residents and reduce their access to needed health services. 

"Public health has historically been asked to do more with less," Selecky said. "It is now at a breaking point. Unless we start supporting our public health system in a more sustained way, our capacity will continue to erode and our ability to respond quickly and competently will evaporate. Our ability to protect the public's health will be threatened."