Important Happenings in
Week Ending: March 30, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson
President Signed the FY18 Budget
On Friday, March 22, 2018, the President signed the bill that set the FY18 funding levels through September 30, 2018. Flat-funding means maintaining the funding level from the previous fiscal year (FY17). Here’s a summary of what we currently know regarding how it impacts HIV/AIDS funding:
|Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)||HIV, Hep, STD, TB line (Total)||$1.117 M||$1.127 M|
|Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)||Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (Total)||$2.319 M||$2.319 M|
|Housing and Urban Development (HUD)||Housing Opportunities for People with (HOPWA-Total)||$356 M||$375 M|
- The HIV portfolio of treatment and prevention programs were mostly flat-funded in FY18. We were able to see increases in the STD line to restore it to 2016 funding levels. There was also a 5 million increase in the funding for viral hepatitis. Furthermore there was a build increase of 19 million dollars to the HOPWA program. This is a WIN for the HIV community in this political climate (especially, since the Administration and the House of Representative proposed to cut and/or eliminate federal funding for certain HIV prevention and treatment programs in FY 2018).
OMB is reviewing a rule about the public charge
According to a draft of the proposal obtained by The Washington Post, the administration is seeking to further restrict immigration by changing the reach of the rules around “public charge.” It would change what can be used in a determination that would broaden range of factors when considering immigrants or their U.S.-citizen children are using public benefits or may be likely to do so. The proposed rule would force families, including citizen children, to choose between getting the help they need – like the Earned Income Tax Credit, ACA subsidy, CHIP and “WIC” nutrition assistance for babies and moms, medical care, and housing assistance – and reuniting with those they love or even keeping their families together. If adopted, this rule will make families choose between staying together and getting the health care they need, even for the family members who are US citizens.
READ → https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-proposal-would-penalize-immigrants-who-use-tax-credits-and-other-benefits/2018/03/28/4c6392e0-2924-11e8-bc72-077aa4dab9ef_story.html?utm_term=.cf3dcd1cfc6a
New Director at the CDC
On Monday, March 26, 2018, Dr. Robert Redfield Jr. began his tenure as the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. It is reported that while addressing senior CDC staff, Dr. Redfield stated that the AIDS epidemic could be ended within seven years and he pledged to bring the opioid crisis “to its knees.” Dr.Redfield has a complex history with the HIV community. He rose to prominence in the 1980s as a top researcher into the emerging AIDS epidemic and was most recently a medical school professor at the University of Maryland. However, Dr. Redfield has also been scrutinized for overstating the effectiveness of an experimental AIDS vaccine over two decades ago. NMAC and other organizations are cautiously optimistic to work the new director.
READ → https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2018/03/30/New-CDC-director-aims-to-end-AIDS-epidemic-in-seven-years/2591522426399/ ; https://www.cbsnews.com/news/aids-researcher-robert-r-redford-selected-as-cdc-director/
What NMAC is Doing About It
- NMAC remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY19 government funding.
- NMAC is has been meeting with legislators to work on FY 2019 funding levels
- NMAC is preparing to for the release of the run around public charge and will be submitting comments
- NMAC is planning a face-to-face meeting with the CDC Director in the near future
What You Can Do
TAKE ACTION: Many of you participated in AIDS Watch 2018 last week. Over 500 people from across the country travelled to Washington, DC to speak truth to power on Capitol Hill and share their personal stories with congressional staffers. It is vitally important to continue those efforts at the state level and speaking to your federal elected officials when they are at home. If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will? Our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines. Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives need to hear from you.
- Find your U.S. Senators: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- Find your U.S. Representative: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE in time for the primary and general elections happening this year:
For more information, VISIT→ https://www.eac.gov/voters/register-and-vote-in-your-state/
Finally, PARTICIPATE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION(S) in your state!