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Administration Requests Additional ADAP Funding

Senate Action on FY 97
Labor/HHS Appropriations Postponed

Pressure Still Needed on Senate
to Increase HOPWA Funds

July 24, 1996

Administration's Request For $65 Million For ADAP

President Clinton announced on July 23 that the Administration was requesting an additional $65.0 million for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program under Title II of the Ryan White CARE Act (for a total request of $117.0m for FY 97). The ADAP increase is in addition to the $24.2m increase for other Title II services requested in the President's FY 97 budget.

This proposed increase is very much welcomed. Unfortunately, we are concerned that this new funding will prove inadequate to meet exploding needs for drug assistance. Last week, Washington state announced that it would cap ADAP enrollment at present levels and no more patients would receive triple combination therapy with protease inhibitors through ADAP. Illinois has also chosen to cap enrollment and, in order to pay for one protease inhibitor, will no longer pay for 80 other drugs that fight opportunistic infections. At least three other states are expected to announce similar measures to deal with the funding shortfall in the ADAP. Without a sufficient increase of funding þ estimated to be at least $190 million in federal funding for FY 97 þ ADAP will fall tragically short in achieving its mission. Without additional funds, low-income people with AIDS will not have access to breakthrough drugs.

Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations Postponed

The Senate Labor/HHS appropriations subcommittee has postponed the mark up of its bill (the mark up sets funding levels for AIDS prevention, care and research programs) to the first week in September. This delay gives us five weeks to press Senators for much needed increases in funding for prevention, care and research. We expect the Senate to provide a significant increase for all biomedical research at the NIH and to include the consolidated AIDS research appropriation to the Office of AIDS Research (OAR). We are concerned that the Senate will not fund the President's supplemental request for ADAP, let alone provide an increase of $190 million to truly meet the need for drugs. Finally, we worry that the Senate will not provide any increases for prevention or the Ryan White Care Act beyond those in the House bill.

VA/HUD Appropriations

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The Senate is expected to consider the FY 97 VA/HUD Appropriations bill Friday, July 26 and complete action the week of the 29th. Your calls are still needed! HOPWA is flat-funded at $171 million for FY 97 in both the House and Senate bills. However, the Senate bill is much worse than the House version because the HUD portion--which includes HOPWA--was funded at $202 million less than what the House bill provides. This makes it unlikely that funding for HOPWA can be increased on the Senate floor through an amendment because finding offsets (other accounts within the bill) for any additional funds for the program is virtually impossible.

However, there may still be a chance for increased funding when the bill is finalized in the House/Senate conference committee. We have heard that there is a willingness by Congress to increase funding for HOPWA. This can only happen if the Administration and enough senators demand an increase for HOPWA when the VA/HUD Appropriations bill reaches the conference process. Therefore, it is critical that you keep up your calls to the Senate and the Administration to ensure that HOPWA remains a priority and gets a funding increase in conference.

AIDS Action

CALL YOUR SENATORS (202-224-3121) and ask to meet with them during the August recess (Aug.2 - Sept. 3). Ask them to speak to Senators Specter, Hatfield and Harkin and tell them that the Senate must act on a Labor/HHS Appropriations bill, do better for AIDS programs, and respond to the ADAP crisis by providing the following:

  1. $738.5m for AIDS prevention programs at the CDC;
  2. $1,144.7m for the Ryan White CARE Act (which includes $190.0m for ADAP);
  3. $1,565.0m and a consolidated appropriation for NIH AIDS research.

CALL YOUR SENATORS. Urge them to contact the Senate Appropriations Committee leadership (Mark Hatfield (R-OR), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Kit Bond (R-MO), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and demand that funding for HOPWA be increased in FY 97. HOPWA must be funded at the Administration's amended request of $196 million -- a $25 million increase over FY 96.

CALL THE ADMINISTRATION. Urge them to make FY 97 funding for HOPWA at $196 million a priority in conference negotiations with the House and Senate and a veto issue.

ADMINISTRATION:

President Clinton, 202-456-1111
Jack Lew, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, 202-395-4840
Patricia Fleming, National AIDS Policy Director, 202-632-1090

SENATE SWITCHBOARD:

202-224-3121

AIDS Action Network Members should take advantage of the congressional recess (August 2 - September 3) and schedule meetings with senators, attend town meetings and/or campaign appearances. Next week, AIDS Action will send you a more comprehensive strategy for ensuring that increases for federal AIDS programs are secured before Congress adjourns in October.

For more information, contact:
Tracy Mickens-Hundley, Director of Community Outreach
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1300, extension 3053
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)
E-Mail: aidsaction@aidsaction.org



  
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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.
 
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