Tafel to Clinton: Show Leadership on ADAP
The following is the text of a letter from Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, to President Bill Clinton on the issue of funding the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
President of the United States
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing to you again on an issue of great importance to millions of Americans – funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program in the Ryan White CARE Act. Since 1995, we have consistently asked your Administration to ensure that your annual budget requests reflect the real needs in the ADAP program, and unfortunately your budgets have fallen drastically short each and every year, and each year the Republican Congress has put millions of dollars more into the program to answer the call. This year, your budget request fell short again.
In your budget request for Fiscal Year 2001, you asked for a $26 million increase in ADAP funding, while the projected need was higher. Unfortunately, the need has only increased since then. Thanks to the enactment of an important minority outreach program, spearheaded by the Congressional Black Caucus, enrollment in the ADAP program by minority patients has increased throughout the year. This has given tremendous hope to so many Americans with HIV that they will have access to life-saving treatments currently out of reach. Overall, state and territorial AIDS directors have reported that the projected national need for ADAP will be closer to $130 million more than the previous year. Your budget request will not cover this additional need, and many of these new enrollees may face lotteries, rationing or simply a closed door.
The Republican Congress has carried the ADAP program every year, despite the failure of leadership from your Administration. I respectfully ask again, Mr. President, that you become an active participant in meeting the ADAP needs for so many Americans with HIV/AIDS, and submit a request to Congress for an increase of $130 million for this life-saving program in your Statement of Principles before budget negotiations end for the year.
I appreciate your urgent consideration of this issue.
Log Cabin Republicans