With the "sequester" in progress, some federal agencies have begun trimming - and that, not "slashing," is the right word - spending. Among consequences of that, President Barack Obama's administration has warned, is that AIDS testing will have to be curtailed.
Really? That particular scare tactic may provoke a derisive reaction from West Virginians. You see, as we reported several weeks ago, the Obama administration had cut funding for AIDS testing in this state months ago.
Local health departments in our area have dipped into local resources to continue providing AIDS testing for those who request it. They have been doing so since last year, when the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention slashed - and in this case, that is the right word - support for AIDS testing in West Virginia.
Federal funding for the purpose has been reduced by $617,541 during the past two years.
During the couple of weeks leading up to federal spending cuts, Obama dug deep into his bag of scare tactics in an attempt to pressure Congress to approve tax increases. The threat of reduced AIDS testing no doubt was viewed by White House tacticians as a winner. But not here in West Virginia - where even at full federal spending, AIDS apparently was not a concern.