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Federal Cuts to NPR and CPB will hurt the Uninsured

Federal Cuts to NPR and CPB will hurt the Uninsured

Picture of Alma Martinez

Recent headlines have highlighted the U.S. House of Representative's approval of cuts to both NPR and CPB. The main issue, according to GOP leaders proposing the cuts is the current budget crisis the nation faces.

What has really been missing in all the information about the proposed cuts to NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is the health link. Yes, there is a health link, and a very important one. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting provides vital funding to community stations- stations that are the sole providers of relevant information on health issues. Funding from CPB to small radio stations may go to pay for a radio producer or news reporter covering issues such as whooping cough vaccinations that are now required for middle school children in the state or information on preventing heat stress illlness to farm workers that labor in California's steaming fields during summer months. These radio stations can and should be credited with providing a health illness prevention forum over the airwaves. 

Working as a reporter and program host at Radio Bilingue for nearly a decade, what I can say is that a lot of our listeners in the Central, Salinas and Imperial Valleys are low-income working families. Most families are either under-insured or uninsured all together. Many have expressed that they have come to rely on our station to provide the preventative health information that they desperately need- more so because a large percentage of the listeners we serve struggle with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and hypertension among other ailments. As it is custom in a lot of Latino families- prevention is key.

When it comes to the dilmena,"to fund or not to fund?" I think the question should be.... Do you want to save a few dollars now, and pay more later?

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