House Votes to Continue Health Care Services for Americans with HIV/AIDS
Reauthorization of Ryan White CARE Act Will Save Lives, French Says
July 26, 2000
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"Congress voted today to save lives," said Claudia French, acting executive director at AIDS Action. "Nearly one million Americans are now living with HIV and AIDS. Today's vote will help the thousands among them who otherwise could not afford the expensive therapies that are improving and prolonging lives."
The Ryan White CARE Act provides support to community-based organizations on the front lines in the battle against HIV and AIDS. These organizations provide access to medicine, health care and social services for people living with HIV and AIDS, most of whom are members of traditionally underserved populations. Enacted in 1990 and reauthorized once in 1996, the CARE Act expires in September 2000.
"We are grateful that members of both parties recognize the importance of reauthorizing this successful program," said French. "AIDS is not a partisan issue, and the seriousness with which this effort was undertaken on both sides of the aisle is impressive. We want to thank Reps. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) and their staffs for working together to draft a bipartisan bill, and we want to thank the more than 250 cosponsors in the House who helped to bring the bill to the floor."
Though the House and Senate bills differ on some key points, French expressed confidence that conferees will produce a bill President Clinton can sign later this summer. "What we will accomplish is too important to let side issues derail us. We'll get this done," said French.
This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.