Log Cabin Lauds Specter for Proposed AIDS Funding Increase
Senate Subcommittee to Increase ADAP by $175 million – Saving Lives of People with AIDS Made a Top Priority in Senate FY 99 Budget
(WASHINGTON, DC) – The nation's largest gay Republican organization praised the
chairman of the Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations subcommittee today for a
proposal to increase funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) by
$175.5 million, the largest increase ever proposed for the program.
Senator Arlen Specter's (R-PA) subcommittee proposal would bring ADAP funding up to $461 million in Fiscal Year 1999, $75.5 million more than the request in President Clinton's proposed budget. ADAP is a program administered by state AIDS directors which provides access to life-saving breakthrough HIV/AIDS therapies to those patients who are underinsured but do not qualify for Medicaid. Since the approval of the new generation of HIV/AIDS drugs, the ADAP program has been in a state of crisis, with spiralling demand outstripping annual appropriated funding. Earlier this year, the House Labor/HHS subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Porter (R-IL), sent an ADAP increase of $100 million to the House, which approved it before the August recess. The GOP Congress has consistently increased ADAP funding above President Clinton's requests since the outset of the ADAP funding crisis in 1996.
"Senator Specter has been a leader in the fight for people with AIDS since assuming the chair of this important subcommittee, and this proposal will mean that more people with AIDS will live longer and healthier lives," said Richard Tafel, Log Cabin Republicans executive director. "We applaud Senator Specter for embracing the Log Cabin principle that saving lives of people with AIDS must be the cornerstone of our budget priorities."
"We hope the Senate will move quickly to pass the Labor/HHS spending bill, and that the House-Senate conferees will agree to the Senate funding levels for ADAP," Tafel said. "Chairman Porter and Republican Members of the House have been champions of ADAP and we will work with them to reach that goal."
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay Republican organization, with 50+ chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office and a federal political action committee. Ensuring adequate funding for ADAP is one of Log Cabin Republicans' top legislative priorities.