CARE Act Expires Friday
September 29, 2005
The Ryan White CARE Act, which funds HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs across the country, is due to expire on Friday, Sept. 30. Funding will not end as of Oct. 1, however, because CARE Act contracts are funded January through December. Groups familiar with the process say the act will continue as long as Congress continues to fund it; Congress is now in the process of authorizing funds for 2006.
Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Jay Smith Brown said in an e-mail that the House has completed its appropriations bill and included funds for the CARE Act. While the Senate appropriations committee has also included funds for the act, the full Senate has yet to vote.
Congress has not dealt with the CARE Act changes President Bush proposed in July. Those changes would cut San Francisco's funding by at least $9 million, while California would lose $20 million. San Francisco's CARE Act Title I allotment was cut from $29.8 million in 2004 to $28.3 million in 2005 -- a 5.2 percent decrease. Mayor Gavin Newsom is urging Congress to reject several of Bush's proposals, saying they "would force drastic cuts, destabilizing our health delivery system and threatening HIV/AIDS care for vulnerable populations throughout the Bay Area."
Ernest Hopkins, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation's director of federal affairs, said Congress is expected to vote by Friday to extend the act's deadline to Nov. 15. He predicted a rough draft will be presented before the Thanksgiving break with a final version introduced in mid-January. Hopkins said congressional leaders are likely to reject the president's proposal to eliminate the CARE Act's "hold harmless" protection, meaning that cities' funding cuts would be spread across five years. Due to the delay in authorizing the act, the cuts would not begin until 2007.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
09.29.2005; Matthew S. Bajko
Congress Should Renew, Expand Ryan White CARE Act to Reflect Changes in AIDS Epidemic, Opinion Piece Says
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.