New York City AIDS Funds: More Anger; Gotbaum Blames City Agency for $14 Million Cut in Federal Aid
April 2, 2003
Calling its performance "reprehensible," Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum on Tuesday became the latest public official to blame New York City's health department for a $14 million cut in federal AIDS funds. The city's share of federal Ryan White Title I funds, which help pay for AIDS care in the cities hit hardest by the epidemic, were slashed by 12 percent -- from $118 million last year to $104 million this year.Adapted from:
In a statement, Gotbaum said, "The New York City Department of Health's failure to demonstrate severe need for a city with the highest number of AIDS cases in the country and maintain supplemental funding is reprehensible. The city's failure to simply submit required paperwork on time does not only cost money, it costs lives."
Several advocates and public officials have blamed the cut on the health department, saying its application for most of the funds was poorly prepared, with some supporting materials arriving late. Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden has denied that the city's application was at fault.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday the city will fight for the funds. "We have a commitment to cut the number of AIDS infections by 50 percent by 2005. I want to meet that commitment. We have plenty of people who are HIV-positive or have AIDS and we've got to make sure that we take care of them," Bloomberg said.
The HIV Planning Council, a panel that decides how New York City's Ryan White funds are distributed, will meet Thursday to discuss how to deal with the funding cut.
Newsday (New York City)
04.02.03; Margaret Ramirez
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.