Concerns about CARE Act voiced

Appropriations bill offers to little to ADAP

The FY 2007 appropriations bill offers too little to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and other Ryan White CARE Act initiatives, claim Jeanne White-Ginder, mother to Ryan White, and The AIDS Institute of Washington, DC.

By early July, the spending bill approved by the House Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Subcommittee provided a $70 million increase for Title II of the Ryan White CARE Act, and the subcommittee approved another $63 million for a testing initiative by the CDC.

The $70 million was earmarked for states with financially strapped ADAPs. While that money is needed, the bill doesn't add anything to the overall ADAP budget, and this is the problem, AIDS Institute officials and others say.

The bill is woefully inadequate, says White-Ginder, who wrote a letter to the U.S. Senate on June 7, 2006. "I respectfully urge you to increase the funding levels contained in the bill so that the growing number of people who depend on the Ryan White CARE Act will have access to life-saving and life-extending healthcare services and medication over the next five years," White-Ginder writes. The annual 3.7% increase proposed for some Ryan White funding and the flat funding of other components of the Act is extremely low and must be increased, White-Ginder adds.

The Senate subcommittee's proposed funding for Ryan White is even lower than what the President's budget requested. President Bush's budget called for a $95 million increase for Ryan White, while the subcommittee approved a $70 million increase, and the president's proposed $93 million for the new CDC testing initiative was $30 million more than the subcommittee approved, according to figures from The AIDS Institute.