North Carolina: State Budget Passes With ADAP Funding Intact
July 8, 2010
The final budget passed by North Carolina's General Assembly and approved by Gov. Bev Purdue on June 30 funds the governor's request for an additional $14.1 million for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
North Carolina closed its ADAP to new client enrollments in January, and the waiting list had ballooned to 769 people as of June 24. By that date, North Carolina had the largest ADAP treatment gap in the nation, according to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.
"It is a huge step in a very tough budget year where the state has already cut $800 million in funding," said Ian Palmquist, executive director of Equality North Carolina. "Having any additional money budgeted for programs is very unusual."
Patients on the current waiting list earn up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. The newly budgeted money will be used to assist those who make up to 125 percent of the federal poverty level. Other new ADAP enrollments are unlikely, Palmquist said.
However, the state budget requires a Medicaid eligibility study to determine whether people on the waiting list can be accommodated other than through ADAP. That task falls to officials with the Department of Health and Human Services; their report should be submitted to the Senate and House health committees by November.
"It would cover all of their health care, not just AIDS drugs, and the federal government matches Medicaid dollars two-to-one -- the state would get more federal resources," Palmquist said.
Q Notes (Charlotte)
06.30.2010; Matt Comer
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