GOP House Increases AIDS Funding, Exceeding White House Budget for Fifth Consecutive Year
ADAP, NIH Funding Increased Over Clinton Requests, Ryan White Overall Up 7.6%
(WASHINGTON, DC) – For the fifth consecutive year since the Republican takeover of Congress, the House advanced a spending measure which would increase funding for AIDS treatment and services millions of dollars above the budget request of President Clinton.
The House Appropriations Labor/HHS Subcommittee set an increase of $107 million for the Ryan White CARE Act in Fiscal Year 2000 (7.6%), with a crucial increase in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), a state-administered program which funds direct access to life-saving and life-extending AIDS drug treatments for patients who are uninsured or underinsured and do not qualify for Medicaid. FY 2000 funding for ADAP was set at $500 million dollars by the committee, chaired by Congressman John Porter (R-IL). President Clinton had requested $496 million for ADAP in Fiscal 2000, while Log Cabin Republicans and state AIDS directors have advocated for $544 million for the crucial program.
"The Republican Congress has acted wisely and prudently, and has preserved health care priorities for people with HIV/AIDS amidst budget conflicts," said James Driscoll, Log Cabin national AIDS policy advisor. "In addition, Congress put in a 9% increase for AIDS research programs at the National Institutes of Health, while President Clinton only requested a 2% increase. This shows Chairman Porter's far-sighted leadership in crafting a sound federal AIDS strategy. We need continued research to cure this disease and to develop vaccines, and we cannot let up now."
"We applaud Chairman Porter's exceptional and consistent leadership on this vital issue from the moment he took over the subcommittee in 1995," said Kevin Ivers, Log Cabin Republicans Director of Public Affairs. "It is something this Congress can be proud of as a solid record of leadership and achievement on an issue of such vital importance to millions of Americans impacted by HIV/AIDS. Despite the challenge of the conflict with the White House over tax and budget policy, Chairman Porter has worked with the leadership to ensure that Ryan White and ADAP funding continued to be a top priority for this Congress." Ensuring that Congress prioritize saving and extending the lives of people with HIV/AIDS through access to breakthrough treatments has been a long-standing legislative priority of Log Cabin Republicans.