House & Senate Budget Resolutions Propose Cuts in Health Programs
Support Specter Amendment to Restore Health Budget to 1996 Levels.
May 17, 1996
Yesterday, the House completed action on their version of the FY 1997 budget resolution. The budget resolution sets overall budget funding levels for federal programs. The Appropriations Committees will set funding levels for specific programs such as prevention, CARE, HOPWA and research. The Senate is currently considering its version of the budget, and will continue to do so next week. Both versions of the budget call for a major cut in FY 1997 funding for health programs and devastating cuts in FY 1998-2002.
In its current form, the House and Senate versions of the budget would cut funding for FY 1997 health programs by $1.5 billion BELOW the current FY 96 funding level of $23 billion. Since half of the $23 billion is for NIH -- which Congress is unlikely to cut -- the $1.5 billion would have to come from the remaining $11 billion -- a 14% cut. Not only would an increase for the Ryan White CARE Act or CDC HIV Prevention programs in FY 97 be all but impossible, but these programs would suffer the bulk of this funding cut.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), chair of the Senate Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations Subcommittee, has introduced an amendment to restore the $1.5 billion in funding for these programs. Senators Hatfield (R-OR), Jeffords (R-VT), Harkin (R-IA), Simon (D-IL ) and Pell (D-RI). The amendment will most likely be voted on, Tuesday, May 21.
Call your Senators by Monday, May 20 and ask them to co-sponsor and support the Specter amendment. Tell them that critical health programs including Ryan White and CDC HIV Prevention will be devastated if the amendment fails.
All Senators can be reached at 202-224-3121. E-mail addresses for your Senators can be found posted in HandsNet at Resources/Congressional Contacts.
For more information, contact:
This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.