U.S. Representatives From California Call for $100M Increase in ADAP Funding
U.S. representatives from California on Friday issued a letter to the House leadership calling for a $100 million boost in funding for the "beleaguered" AIDS Drug Assistance Program, according to an AIDS Healthcare Foundation press release. Reps. Mary Bono (R), Henry Waxman (D), Doug Ose (R) and Diane Watson (D) urged House lawmakers to increase funding and "end waiting lists for AIDS drugs" (AIDS Healthcare Foundation release, 8/2). 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 in fiscal year 2002 for state ADAPs, 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, 8/2). Clint Trout, AIDS Healthcare Foundation associate director of government affairs, said, "With over 1,200 uninsured Americans on waiting lists for life-saving medications, we're proud to see California's delegation speak out" (AIDS Healthcare Foundation release, 8/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.