Florida AIDS Advocates to Meet With Lawmakers Over Project AIDS Care Funding Cuts
Six South Florida AIDS activists will meet with state lawmakers on Wednesday in an effort to restore some of the $10 million in funding cuts for AIDS services, the Miami Herald reports (Valdes, Miami Herald, 3/10). The Florida Legislature and Gov. Jeb Bush (R) recently cut $5 million from Project AIDS Care, a Medicaid waiver program that provides in-home care and other services to 6,500 of Florida's "sickest" AIDS patients (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/23). The $5 million cut to PAC was the first step in Bush's plan to eliminate $10 million from the program this year to help offset a $1.3 billion state budget deficit (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/4). The cuts, which took effect March 1, would eliminate 12 of PAC's services, including the companionship program, physical and respiratory therapy and substance abuse treatment. Funding was reduced for seven additional services, including case management and meal delivery. Fourteen agencies in the Miami area that provide PAC services said that the funding cuts have caused a decrease in services provided and in the number of case managers. Manuel Laureano-Vega, executive director of the League Against AIDS, which provides case management services, said that although PAC might need some modifications, "eliminating services will not solve the problem." Laureano-Vega and five other AIDS advocates will meet with state Sen. Ronald Silver (D) and state Rep. Sandra Murman (R), chair of the health appropriations subcommittees in the state Senate and the state House, respectively (Miami Herald, 3/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.