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Policy & Politics
Senate Committee Approves Revisions for Ryan White CARE Act Reauthorization

May 18, 2006

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Wednesday voted 19-1 to approve a bill (S 2823) that would alter the Ryan White CARE Act by allocating more federal HIV/AIDS funding to Southern and rural states, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports (Werner, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 5/17). The measure proposes several changes to the CARE Act, such as revising formulas for funding calculations to include HIV cases and not just AIDS cases; requiring that 75% of CARE Act funding is spent on primary care; requiring that facilities receiving federal funding conduct mandatory HIV testing; creating a tier system to fund both small and large cities; directing unused funds from states into AIDS Drug Assistance programs -- federal- and state-funded programs that provide HIV/AIDS-related medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured HIV-positive people; and mandating a minimum AIDS drug formulary list that all state ADAPs would have to provide to patients (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/17). HELP Committee Chair Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), said, "There are some changes in the formulas that recognize some of the shifts in population and also some of the increases in AIDS in rural areas" (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 5/17). Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), the only senator to vote against the bill, said states with urban centers are most affected by HIV/AIDS and should not have their funding reduced, adding that New York state could lose $20 million under the proposed revisions, CQ HealthBeat reports. President Bush has requested $2.1 billion for the program for fiscal year 2007 (Blinkhorn/Schuler, CQ HealthBeat, 5/17).

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