Congressional Battle over Budget Ceiling Rages

Congressional Battle over Budget Ceiling Rages
Washington, DC has come to a stand still as debate around raising the national debt ceiling continues to heat up. The federal government will run out of money on August 2 if an agreement is not reached. For the past week, Congressional leaders have been negotiating with President Obama who is pushing for a so-called “grand bargain” to cut $4 trillion from the deficit in exchange for raising the ceiling. The president has put cuts to safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security on the table, in exchange for increases in revenue through tax increases for the wealthy and closing several tax loopholes for corporations. To date, the Republicans have refused to agree to any increase in revenue, either through increased taxes or closing tax loopholes.

The details surrounding President Obama’s proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid have not been made public, as negotiations surrounding the debt limit have been held in private. According to various sources, these could include reduced federal contribution to states for Medicaid, which could lead to states reducing eligibility for the program. As Medicaid is a major provider of care for people living with HIV/AIDS, these cuts could have a devastating impact on the community and HIV/AIDS safety net programs such as Ryan White programs. They could also undermine the Medicaid expansion included in the Affordable Care Act, which is set to go into effect in 2014.

NMAC will closely monitor the debt ceiling negotiations and update its constituents on any important developments.

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Anniversary of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

This week is the one year anniversary of the release of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. On July 13, 2010, President Obama held a ceremony at the White House to unveil the plan, which was designed to reinvigorate our nation’s response to the epidemic. One year later, the community has seen significant progress in ensuring a coordinated response to the epidemic, but there remains much more work to be done. The Strategy lays out ambitious goals for reducing infections, increasing access to care and minimizing health disparities, and while this year was spent laying the necessary ground work for achieving those goals, we must now focus our efforts on its wider implementation.

Read NMAC’s press statement on the anniversary here »

Read NMAC’s policy statement on the future of the Strategy here »

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NMAC Launches ADAPAction.org, Raises Awareness of Nation’s ADAP Crisis
On July 7th, the NMAC launched a new website, www.ADAPaction.org, as part of its ADAP Beyond the Numbers campaign to increase awareness of the crisis facing our nation’s AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. The site features videos and stories of real life ADAP clients who rely on the programs for their life-saving medications. ADAPaction.org will also provide tools to track the latest developments surrounding wait lists and other cost containment measures being instituted by states across the country.

Read NMAC’s press release on the launch of the new site and its ADAP Beyond the Numbers campaign here »
 
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About NMAC
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 communications@nmac.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.

Click here to email this message to a friend. To sign up for NMAC on the Hill, click here.

Visit the agency online at http://www.nmac.org/

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