Bush’s Reorganization of ONAP Eclipsed by Budget Cuts, Editorial States
President Bush's appointment of Scott Evertz, the first openly gay man selected by a Republican president for an executive branch job, as the new head of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy is "symbolically important," and his reorganization plan for ONAP represents a "welcome acknowledgement of the importance of fighting AIDS on a global scale," an St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial states. "But the value of Mr. Evertz's appointment and of the simultaneous reorganization of [ONAP] is undermined by the details of [Bush's] proposed budget," the editorial adds. With the advent of antiretroviral drugs, the number of people living with AIDS is steadily rising, "increas[ing] the demand for government assistance to pay for drugs." However, Bush has not proposed new funding for AIDS treatment under the Ryan White CARE Act, "the main source of federal treatment money." The editorial adds that the "African AIDS crisis won't be solved simply by wresting price concessions from drug manufacturers. Nor will the problem in America be resolved simply by appointing a gay man to head the White House AIDS office. It will take money." However, the editorial states, "With the president's proposed $1.6 trillion tax cut, money will be in critically short supply." The editorial concludes, "There are projected budget surpluses in the nation's future. But there will be surpluses of death and disease on America's streets unless AIDS prevention and public health programs are fully funded" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.