New York: Advocates Hail Pataki AIDS Drug Funding
February 10, 2003
Even as many state services are being slashed, AIDS advocates are generally voicing relief that New York Gov. George Pataki preserved important components of HIV spending. In one key area, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the new budget provides significant enhancement. At the same time, even those praising Pataki acknowledge there are cuts that must be challenged in the legislature, and many advocates argue that severe new restrictions on the state's Medicaid program will likely hurt the poorest New Yorkers with HIV.Adapted from:
Pataki proposed on Jan. 29 to increase state spending to ADAP from $12 million in fiscal 2002 to $40 million in the next year. ADAP proponents had warned that, without an increase of funding, the program could face a shortfall this year of as much as $50 million.
New York AIDS Coalition, Gay Men's Health Crisis and Housing Works all identified cuts in other areas of AIDS spending. Analysis by the three groups varied, depending on whether legislative "add-ins" are incorporated later in the budget process, but the total size of potential cuts could be from $6 million to $12 million. Funding not recommended for renewal by Pataki included nearly $5 million in prevention funds targeting communities of color, about three-quarters of a million dollars for minority substance abuse services, and more than $500,000 each for treatment adherence programs and for permanency planning for families in which one or both of the parents is living with AIDS.
GMHC's Ronald Johnson said the agency is "very disturbed" by a cut in state resources for Medicaid totaling $1.2 billion that, coupled with the federal government's match, will mean that $2 billion less is going into the New York health care system. Johnson and GMHC colleagues said the cuts' effects would include lowering income eligibility level, reducing benefits, and eliminating some services. Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), who chairs the Assembly Health Committee, said, "Gov. Pataki says he doesn't want to raise 'job-killing taxes.' Taking health care away from people is a tax -- a life-endangering tax aimed at working people and their families."
Gay City News (New York City)
01.31.03; Paul Schindler
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.