HIV/AIDS Advocates in California Concerned About Funding Reduction
March 6, 2006
HIV/AIDS advocates in California worry that the state might be at a disadvantage due to the high quality of care it offers HIV-positive people and the way in which AIDS cases are counted, affecting Ryan White Care Act HIV/AIDS funding calculations, which could lead to a $19 million loss for programs in the state's nine metropolitan areas, the Sacramento Bee reports. AIDS cases in metropolitan areas currently are counted both as part of a city total and as part of a state total for separate funding streams. HHS, to ensure equal distribution of federal funds, has proposed eliminating the "double counting" system. Under the proposed funding rules, 75% of funds would have to be used for core medical services, provisions that protect against drastic funding cuts would be eliminated and planning councils that decide fund distribution would be voluntary. The state Assembly next week is expected to consider a bill (SB 699) that would create a names-based reporting system for new HIV cases. The Senate already has approved the bill. The proposed legislation could go to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in two weeks, the Sacramento Bee reports. California advocates believe the proposed change in federal law might lead to a 62% reduction of the current $31 million metropolitan areas receive in HIV/AIDS funding and lead to the loss of funding for transportation, counseling and other services (Lin, Sacramento Bee, 3/3).
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