Arkansas Governor, Health Department Seek Funding for AIDS Medications
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) has joined the state Health Department and AIDS activists to seek an increase in state funds to assist AIDS patients in paying for their medications, and in January will submit a request for over $1 million in state funds for AIDS-related care to the state Legislature. The state funds are eligible for a 4-to-1 federal match, increasing the state's allotment by over $5 million. Arkansas, one of only five states to rely solely on federal funds for AIDS drugs and services, currently receives $3.1 million in federal funds for AIDS medication and other AIDS-related care. The new request would push the state's total for drug assistance to over $8 million. Officials say the new funds would be enough to buy medication for the approximately 200 people on the state's waiting list for HIV medications. Eligibility for the funds would be determined by a patient's income and the availability of other sources of reimbursement. There are currently about 5,000 AIDS patients in Arkansas (Associated Press, 11/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.