Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
New York City’s Share of Ryan White CARE Act Funds Decreases by $14 Million; Largest Reduction Nationwide
HHS awarded New York City $14 million, or 12%, less in federal Ryan White CARE Act funds this year, "by far" the largest reduction nationwide, Long Island Newsday reports (Ramirez, Long Island Newsday, 3/30). HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson earlier this month announced $600 million in grants to cities "hit hardest" by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Each allocation is based on the estimated number of residents with AIDS in a city, with additional funds awarded based on the "severity of need" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/21). The allocation of Ryan White funds for New York City decreased from $118 million last year to $104 million this year. Although the allocation of funds based on the number of AIDS cases in New York City increased, the allocation of supplemental funds based on severity of need decreased from $48 million last year to $32 million this year. Joe Pressley, executive director of the New York AIDS Coalition, said that the reduction would affect city AIDS programs "across the board." Some New York City officials and AIDS advocates blamed the city Health Department for the reduction, saying that department officials "poorly prepared" the application for Ryan White funds and submitted the application late. "It's completely outrageous, because unlike other cuts which are beyond our control and caused by the economy, we'll experience this because the city did a bad job," New York City Council Member Christine Quinn (D) said. City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said that problems with the application did not lead to the reduction in funds and that the department would work with HHS to address the issue. Frank Oldham, citywide coordinator of the Mayor's Office on AIDS Policy, said, "I don't think I've ever seen anything as unfair as this," adding, "It's tragic and I really don't know why it happened" (Long Island Newsday, 3/30).
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