Congress Reaches Debt Ceiling Agreement
On August 2nd, Congress and the President finally reached an agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. In exchange for raising the limit, Congress and the President agreed to a package of spending reductions that would immediately cut $1 trillion from the deficit over 10 years by placing caps on discretionary spending. No revenue increases were included in the deal. Congress will then form a so-called “super-committee” to identify an additional $1.5 trillion in cuts by Thanksgiving. If the “super-committee” cannot come to agree on cuts totaling to at least $1.2 trillion, automatic cuts will be made to achieve the required savings. These cuts would come from both defense and non-defense budgets.
While entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid were not included in the initial $1 trillion cut, other programs that support HIV/AIDS services – from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Health Resources and Services Administration – may well face budget cuts. What’s more, the second round of cuts to be identified by the “super-committee” is meant to come from (at least in theory) a combination of entitlement and tax reform. As approximately 60 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS receive their care through Medicare/Medicaid, reforming these programs could be a disaster for the community.
While the impact that these massive cuts will have on HIV/AIDS funding and programs remains to be seen, the National Minority AIDS Council, in collaboration with other national HIV/AIDS organizations are closely monitoring the fall out. We will update our constituents on any important developments as they arise.
Meanwhile, you can click here to tell your members of Congress to protect funding for HIV/AIDS programs!
ADAP Waiting List Passes 9,000
As of August 4th – and for the first time ever – the number of people lingering on AIDS Drug Assistance Program wait lists passed 9,000. A total of 9,039 people in 13 states are now unable to access their medications via the programs, which provide drugs to under and un-insured individuals who are not eligible for other programs such as Medicaid. What’s more, Alabama, which already had a wait list, has reduced its program’s formulary, while Illinois, which already had expenditure caps, has lowered its program’s financial eligibility to 300% the Federal Poverty Level. This brings the total number of states that have enacted “cost-containment” measures to eighteen, plus Puerto Rico.
For more information on the nation’s ADAP crisis, visit www.ADAPaction.org.
CDC Releases New Estimates of HIV Infections from 2006-2009
Just one day after the President and Congress agreed to cut trillions of dollars from the federal budget, placing our nation’s public health programs in peril, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new HIV incidence estimates for the United States. The estimates included alarming trends in infection rates among MSM, particularly young African American MSM.
For the first time, there were more infections among Latino MSM than African American women. Young gay and bisexual men age 13 to 29 continue to represent an alarming percentage of new HIV infections in the U.S. — 27 percent in 2009 — and the number of infections among young African American MSM increased by 48 percent from 2006 to 2009 (4,400 to 6,500). In fact, the number of new infections in 2009 among African American gay and bisexual men age 13 to 29 was higher than the number of infections among White MSM age 13 to 29 and 30 to 39 combined.
Read NMAC’s press release on the CDC’s estimates here »
The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) builds leadership within communities of color to address challenges of HIV/AIDS. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced this mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous publications and a website: http://www.nmac.org/.
Today, NMAC is an association of AIDS service organizations providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the AIDS epidemic. NMAC’s advocacy efforts are funded through private funders and donors only.
For more information, contact NMAC directly at (202) 483-NMAC (6622) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About NMAC on the Hill
NMAC wants to make sure that our constituents are up to date on the latest activities in Congress and around Washington, DC that affect HIV/AIDS programs, funding, and the broader movement. To accomplish this, we will be sending regular updates on legislation, meetings and other happenings in the nation’s capital to keep you informed on what matters to our community.
Visit the agency online at http://www.nmac.org/
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