Congressional Politics Hampering AIDS Legislation, Washington Post Editorial States
The delay in Congress' passage of legislation to fund the international fight against AIDS is a result of "myopic domestic obsessions" that do not concern Africa, a Washington Post editorial states (Washington Post, 4/5). Congressional legislation was initiated after President Bush in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28 proposed spending $15 billion over five years to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/3). The Post states that the House International Relations Committee last week approved an amended bill to fund the AIDS fight "thanks to the persistence and patience" of committee Chair Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), who had "the pro-life credentials" to forge a compromise despite concerns over condom distribution. However, the editorial continues, the "larger picture is this: While members of Congress continue to seek and score minor political victories, people in Africa continue to die of AIDS." In the Senate, talks "broke down" over how to divide money between the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and U.S. organizations, according to the Post. "Another fight" in the Senate is how to balance funding between improving sanitary conditions in hospitals and promoting "safer sex," the Post says. The editorial concludes, "U.S. senators shouldn't be fine-tuning the strategies in any case. Appropriate the money and let people in Africa go to work" (Washington Post, 4/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.