AIDS Treatment Advocates Coalition Launches Grassroots Campaign to Urge Congress to Increase ADAP Funding
In response to recent reports that many states' AIDS Drug Assistance Programs are in crisis, the AIDS Treatment Advocates Coalition is launching a grassroots campaign to urge lawmakers to increase ADAP funding by $162 million (ATAC release, 7/30). Approximately 80,000 individuals are enrolled in an ADAP, and the programs are enrolling an additional 600 beneficiaries each month. The federal government has earmarked $639 million for state ADAPs for fiscal year 2002, but the cost of the program is "outstripping" the money budgeted to cover it, according to the coalition. Some states are facing financial difficulties in their ADAPs because many people with AIDS are living longer and thus staying in the program longer. At the same time, campaigns aimed at increasing the number of individuals who get tested for HIV have contributed to an increase in the number of new applicants. Many states are limiting coverage to certain drugs and services, while eight states have implemented waiting lists for the program. An estimated $162 million in additional federal funding will be needed to keep the ADAPs solvent through March 2004, and a bill that would add $100 million in federal money to the program has passed a Senate appropriations committee (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/29).
The ATAC Save ADAP Committee is encouraging people to take action to urge Congress to appropriate the necessary level of funding in three ways:
- August Recess District Visits: Congress adjourns for its summer recess during the month of August, and most members return to their home districts. ATC is encouraging people to schedule meetings with their local representative or senators to stress the need for additional ADAP funding;
- "Call Your District Office Week": During the week of Aug. 26-30, ATAC is asking people to call their local representatives' and senators' offices to encourage them to support a $162 million increase in ADAP funding;
- "Call D.C. Day": On Sept. 4, ATAC is encouraging people to call their representatives' and senators' offices to "remin[d]" them that $162 million is "urgent[ly]" needed for ADAPs (ATAC release, 7/30).