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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Republicans Cut Costs But Health Care Pays the Price

By Candace Y.A. Montague

February 15, 2011

Call your representative and let your voice be heard. Photo: money.cnn.com

Call your representative and let your voice be heard. Photo: money.cnn.com

Debate begins today about a proposed $78 billion resolution (known as H.R.1) to cut funding to programs that provide services in many health care areas including AIDS programs. The proposal, presented by Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), presents 70 cuts as a part of a Continuing Resolution (CR) that is used to keep the government going until the end of the fiscal year (March 4th).

The cuts that directly affect the AIDS community include WIC ($758 million), Job training ($2 billion), Community Health Centers ($1.3 billion), HUD Community Development Fund ($530 million), Family Planning ($327 million), Center for Disease Control ($755 million), National Institutes of Health ($1 billion) and Maternal and Child Health Care Block Grants ($210 million).

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The AIDS Institute, National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), The National AIDS Housing Coalition and other local AIDS Service organizations are outraged by the proposal and beseech congressional representatives to oppose H.R. 1. "While it may help achieve short term goals to reduce federal government spending, this reckless action will have long term impacts on the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV/AIDS and on efforts to prevent HIV infections in the future," says Carl Schmid of the AIDS Institute. Schmid added "Not only did the House Republicans erase any funding increase, they failed to continue to fund the $25 million in FY11 and, in effect, will be taking away medications from people." A statement from NMAC says "Our nation finally has a blueprint for a coordinated response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, specifically within minority communities, in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. But now, Republicans in the House want to cut critical HIV/AIDS funding when its needed most! We must tell them no!"

How can you help? Call your representative today and tomorrow and tell them to oppose H.R. 1. Click here to find out who your representative is for your area. Or call the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can simply say, "My name is __________ and I am calling today to urge Senator __________ (or Representative__________) to oppose H.R.1. There are too many lives at stake to cut funds to critical health care programs".


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Candace Y.A. Montague

Candace Y.A. Montague

Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.

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