Sen. Edwards Introduces Bill to Compensate Individuals Who Contracted HIV Through Blood Transfusions
Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) has introduced a bill ( S 2219) that would provide financial compensation to certain individuals who were infected with HIV through blood transfusions or transplants. The bill would establish a fund, called the Steve Grissom Relief Fund, that would provide money to patients or their survivors who received HIV-tainted transfusions or transplants between July 1982 and the end of 1987. Each recipient would receive $100,000. In 1998, Congress passed and President Clinton signed legislation (HR 1023) that provided financial assistance to hemophiliacs who contracted HIV through blood transfusions (Edwards release, 4/22). That bill created the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund, which awarded $100,000 to individuals with blood-clotting disorders who contracted HIV from contaminated blood products between 1982 and 1987. Certain spouses and children who contracted HIV from these individuals were also eligible to receive payments (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/29/00). The Ricky Ray Fund, however, only applied to hemophiliacs and did not extend to non-hemophiliacs who contracted HIV through blood transfusions or organ transplants (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/22/98). Edwards' bill would apply to only non-hemophiliacs who were infected with HIV through transfusions or transplants (Edwards release, 4/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.