Washington, DC – Congress approved a spending bill today that would fund the government through the remainder of fiscal year 2013 and avert a government shutdown when the current continuing resolution expires on March 27th. While much of the funding allocated through September 30th is based on 2012 levels, today’s six month continuing resolution fails to continue the $35 million in emergency relief funds for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP) announced by President Obama on World AIDS Day 2011. The failure to include these funds could result in nearly 8,000 individuals living with HIV being removed from ADAP roles and losing access to lifesaving medication.
The Emergency Relief funds have supported ADAPs in fifteen states and territories, including New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Alabama, and Tennessee. Additionally, the spending bill fails to continue $10 million in emergency funding for Ryan White Part C clinical programs, jeopardizing the ability of Ryan White-funded clinics to provide comprehensive and specialized care and treatment services for people living with HIV. In addition to Congress’s failure to continue both the $35 million and $10 million relief funds, sequestration will likely result in added funding cuts of over 5 percent to both ADAP and Part C providers under the Ryan White Program.
“The failure of Congress to continue this funding will have a devastating impact on both individuals living with HIV or AIDS who rely on these services for their care and medications, but also on our ability to combat the spread of this disease,” said NMAC Director of Legislative and Public Affairs. “The effects of today’s vote will also have a disproportionate impact on people of color, especially those living in poverty. Nearly three-quarters of all Ryan White recipients are people of color and live below the poverty line. NMAC is committed to remedying today’s Congressional misstep and will work with the Obama Administration to reallocate funds appropriately to ensure interruptions in care and treatment are avoided, or at the very least minimized.”
Kyle Murphy, (202) 803-8027