Florida AIDS Patients Take Message to Tallahassee
March 11, 2002
After writing letters to state legislators and holding protests in Miami and North Miami, AIDS patients and their advocates are going to Tallahassee on Wednesday in an effort to have recent service cuts reversed.Adapted from:
The state Legislature eliminated 12 services -- including the companionship program, physical and respiratory therapy and substance abuse treatment -- for AIDS clients in the Medicaid Project AIDS Care Waiver program. Funding for seven other services, such as case management and home-delivered meals, was reduced. The cuts, which total $10 million, became effective March 1.
"We are going to try to clear up the perception that the program is not needed," said Manuel Laureano-Vega, executive director of the League Against AIDS, a non-profit that provides case management services for AIDS patients. Laureano-Vega is one of six South Florida advocates scheduled to meet with state Sen. Ronald Silver (D-Miami), chairperson of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Sen. Kendrick Meek (D-Miami), and Rep. Sandra Murman (R-Tampa), chairperson of Health and Human Services Appropriations.
"The injured and the poor are going to die without funds," said Nadine Proctor, director of the Northpointe Senior Center in Carol City. "To find these people dead in their homes will be a rude awakening for the government." The center, which provides adult day care services for PAC Waiver patients, is shutting down because of the cuts. "It's not a political issue. It's a human rights issue. We must come together as one," she said. Fourteen Miami-Dade County agencies that provide PAC Waiver services were affected by the cuts, resulting in a decrease in services and the number of case managers.
03.10.02; Ana Valdes
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.