All In   |  April 05, 2013

Airport tower closures delayed, but no luck for shut-out Medicare chemo patients

Airport tower closures at 149 small and mid-size airports because of sequestration, set to begin Sunday, were delayed, but what about the thousands of Medicare chemotherapy patients turned away from cancer clinics? For them, no such reprieve.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> when today began, 149 small and midsize airport towers were set to be shut down this sunday due to sequestering. so it understandably captured the public's imagination and the faa's handy map of the states was impressive as well as the admonition that tens of thousands of pilots will have to rely increasingly on see and avoid. you do not want it read the phrase, see and avoid, anywhere near the phrase, tens of thousands of pilots. to drive the point home, usa today on-line offered this graphic, when airplanes collide so we can predict the exact time we can better foresee the problem is when planes taxi and on approach. there are a handful of lawsuits by local communits to halt tower closures. but lo and behold, two days from the first possibly dangerous closure, it has been delayed until may 15th . according to secretary ray lahood make sure communities and pilots understand changes at their local airports. in other word, no promise these closures will be permanently headed o 06. tower story captured our attention today in the editorial meeting as our executive producer was describing exactly what see and avoid meant. i'm coming in, where are you, is there anyone ai around? it was a way to focus attention on the real tangible consequence of sequestration. it is also today's bright shiny ofkt sequestration. we were also supposed to breath a huge sigh of relief. but on parallel track in realtime, we are learning that cancer clinics have been forced to turn medicare patients due to sequestration because of the method in which chemotherapy treatment is paid out, 2% cut m medicare put the clinics in a bind. as chief executor of one clinic put it, a lot of us are in disbelief it happened. it is a choice between patience and staying in business. some cost will likely be passed on to patience. ai aaccording to the washington post , it is unclear if the hospitals still have the capacity to absorb these patient. today there was no 11th hour reprieve. no horrible unintended avoidable consequence. in austin, texas, local nop profit wbc opportunity is being forced to cut nearly $400,000 from its senior meal on wheels and head start programs due to federal funding cuts spurred by sequestration. for those folks, today bringing no effect in policy. places like food finders food bank are expecting a 5% drop thanks to cuts in the community development block grant program. nothing happened today to change that. there are local news stories like these across the can country and all because of sequestration. automatic austerity. it doesn't end there. because other sequestration cuts place a greater demand on the nonprofit. 4 million meals to seniors. 600,000 women, infant and children from wic program . those people affected by those cuts may have today heard the news that tower closures have been delayed until june 15th . they got no such good news themselves. poverty and illness can smash a life to bits as surely as a plane crash and the agencies and organizations tasked with watching out to make sure that doesn't happen are evacuating their towers. we'll be right back with clip 3. [ male