Log Cabin Republicans Urge Congress to Pass HIV/AIDS Treatment Law
Ryan White CARE Act Should Be Reauthorized Before Elections
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin calls on members of both parties in Congress to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act before they leave town to campaign for re-election. "Real people will be hurt if Congress fails to pass this important legislation by October 1st," said Log Cabin Executive Vice President Patrick Sammon. "It's time for all sides to put aside small differences and reach a compromise."
President Bush has called on Congress several times to reauthorize and reform the CARE Act, which is the principal federal program that provides life-saving assistance to tens of thousands of Americans with HIV/AIDS. Senators and House members from both parties have developed a bi-partisan compromise to update the program with reforms that reflect changes in the epidemic. "We will be very disappointed if a few lawmakers hold up reauthorization of this important legislation," said Sammon. "Delaying reauthorization will cause great uncertainty for states and real worry for those who depend on the CARE Act for survival."
If Congress fails to reauthorize the law by October 1st, a provision in the existing law will revise funding formulas to include all patients in a jurisdiction with HIV. Currently, the law counts only those diagnosed with AIDS. As a result, states that do not have up to date HIV reporting systems will likely see significant funding cuts.
"Now is the time to act. There's near unanimous agreement on both sides of the aisle and among community groups that this law needs to be reauthorized. We need members of the House and Senate to step up and get this done," said Sammon.