Bi-Partisan Ryan White Reauthorization Bill Advances
Log Cabin Applauds Coburn-Waxman Bill, Calls for Swift Passage
(WASHINGTON, DC) – The GOP-controlled House of Representatives opened hearings today on its reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act, the comprehensive federal care and treatment support program for communities and patients struggling with HIV/AIDS. The bi-partisan bill, drafted by Congressman Tom Coburn (R-OK), Vice Chairman of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, and Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), was hailed by the nation's largest gay Republican organization as a major step forward in the federal care response to AIDS.
"The House bill is a remarkable achievement, as it addresses many of the key issues we face in the Ryan White CARE program today and looking ahead," said Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "We applaud the leadership of Congressman Coburn, who put so many important provisions in the bill and brought the Subcommittee together to work out differences. We also applaud Congressman Waxman for the spirit of bi-partisanship that has marked this process. We hope this bill is passed swiftly by the House."
The Coburn-Waxman bill addresses several important reforms long-supported by Log Cabin Republicans, including the upgrading of AIDS Education and Treatment Centers, a Title II supplement for state-administered AIDS Drug Assistance Programs in crisis, improved prevention programs, better outreach to women and minority patients, improved accountability for service providers, and fairer funds distribution. The Coburn-Waxman bill also shifts the method of calculating formulas from counting AIDS cases to counting HIV cases, a crucial reform needed as new HIV drug treatments have radically changed the epidemic.
The bill brought together Congressman Waxman and several key Democratic leaders on the Commerce Committee, along with a diverse cross-section of Republican conservatives and centrists, as original co-sponsors. Among them are Congressman Dick Armey (R-TX), the House Republican Majority Leader, and several founding members of the Log Cabin Republicans National Advisory Board, including Congresswoman Connie Morella (R-MD), Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Congressman Jim Greenwood (R-PA) and Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT).
"It is important to give credit to the Senate, particularly under the leadership of Senator Jim Jeffords (R-VT), for passing their version earlier in the session," Tafel added. "Their swift action, and the Senate's inclusion of some of the important items also in the Coburn-Waxman bill, has cleared the way for a productive bi-partisan House-Senate conference, where we hope much of the House bill remains intact. We know this is a major priority for the Republican leadership in Congress, and we look forward to continuing to work with both sides of the aisle in Congress, community advocates, the Governors and industry in completing this important effort as soon as possible."
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay Republican organization, with state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time national office in Washington and a federal political action committee.
Bill Information: HR 4807 – The Ryan White CARE Act Amendments Of 2000
GOP Original Co-Sponsors:
- Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Chief Sponsor
- Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-PA)
- Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX)
- Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA)
- Rep. Charles Norwood (R-GA)
- Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA)
- Rep. Jim Rogan (R-CA)
- Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA)
- Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL)
- Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT)
- Rep. Richard Burr (R-NC)
- Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD)
- Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ)
- Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL)
Bill Text of HR 4807 Available at thomas.loc.gov.