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As with any attempt at looking at the national budget, there is a real need to look at what is going to be lost. Because, despite all of the rhetoric and strange little stories, there really isn’t piles of wasted money that will balance everything. The cuts to the National Poison Center, is one such example.

H.R. 1 would cut $27.3 million, or about 93%, of federal funding for poison control centers across the United States. This is a vital resource individuals and hospitals rely upon to deal with poisoning emergencies. Since poison kills people, it doesn’t seem to be a stretch at all that lives will be lost.

Poison centers answered 4.2 million calls in 2009, and about 16% of those calls came from hospitals seeking their expertise. When you call 911, they call your poison center. The 911 operators figure out whether your emergency is poisoning related and will often conference in the poison center for a three-way conversation.

I understand that there are tough issues out there, but let’s be honest in what we are doing and acknowledge that these cuts are deadly.

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