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What's New in Public Policy?
Excerpts From Hotline Memos of May 2001
from the Information Department of Project Inform

June 2001

AIDS Drug Assistance Program Facing Serious Budget Shortfall

Urge President Bush to Support Emergency Supplemental Funding

Advocates and many Members of Congress are urging President Bush to support an emergency supplemental appropriation of $50 million for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) for the current Fiscal Year (October 1, 2000-September 30, 2001). This program provides treatments for low-income people with HIV/AIDS with no or inadequate health insurance. It is considered a lifeline for many HIV-positive people who otherwise would not have access to therapies.

In the last appropriations bill, ADAP received $60 million less than projected as needed to provide standard of care for its clients. In addition, the number of new clients and the costs of drugs continue to rise, putting an additional strain on many state ADAPs. Many programs are expected to face serious problems in the next few months without an emergency supplemental. According to a recent report by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, nearly half of all states have indicated that they might have to place emergency restrictions on their programs this year, such as implementing or expanding waiting lists, capping services, and/or making cuts to the list of available drugs. Even states with the most comprehensive ADAPs such as California are expected to feel the effects of the budget shortfall.

Project Inform's constituents have played a major role in urging their elected officials to support adequate funding for this important program. Your help is needed again to persuade President Bush to support this emergency funding so that people continue accessing HIV/AIDS treatments!

Action Needed

Call, write, or email President Bush immediately. Due to the urgency of the situation, phone calls and emails are recommended. Urge him to support a $50 million emergency supplemental increase in Fiscal Year 2001 spending for the ADAP. Be personal -- if you or someone you care about uses this program, let him know. You can use the following sample call/email to help craft your message.

Sample Phone Message/Email

Contact information:

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1414
FAX: (202) 456-2461

I am calling to urge President Bush to support a Fiscal Year 2001 emergency supplemental appropriation of $50 million for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. This program provides HIV/AIDS treatments to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them. It is facing a serious budget shortfall and we need your help to make sure that people with HIV/AIDS continue to be able to access their treatments.

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