Frenzied efforts to adhere to court orders and reunite families separated by President Donald Trump’s border policy has added considerable costs, Politico reported on Wednesday. Advocates are upset that so far the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has spent tens of millions of dollars in additional costs due to the separation policy instead of being used for other priorities such as medical research and rural health programs. In the past two months the department has spent at least $40 million for the care and reunification of migrant children separated from their families at the border, and officials are preparing to shift an additional $200 million from other department accounts. This taking of funds from within the department comes even as the White House considers a request for additional funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which would almost certainly enrage fiscal hawks as midterm elections approach. “We have a public health emergency like Ebola, Zika, hurricanes — except this one is man-made,” Coalition for Health Funding executive director Emily Holubowich told Politico, adding that HHS should request emergency funding too. “We should not be taking discretionary funding away from programs that need it.” Some Republican have joined Democrats… Read full this story
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