Sens. Smith, Clinton Introduce Early Treatment for HIV Act
Sens. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday introduced the Early Treatment for HIV Act of 2003 (S 847), which would provide Medicaid coverage for HIV-positive, low-income people before they develop AIDS, according to a Smith release. The bill also would provide additional Medicaid funds to states that invest in HIV treatment. According to the release, the legislation would allow states with budget deficits to continue to provide medical treatment to HIV-positive, low-income individuals. "Currently HIV treatments are very successful in delaying the progression from HIV infection to AIDS. We can do better, and we should do everything possible to ensure that all people living with HIV can get early, effective medical care," Smith said. The legislation is supported by the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Human Rights Campaign, the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the Cascade AIDS Project, the Treatment Access Expansion Project and other AIDS advocacy organizations, according to the release (Smith release, 4/9). Reps. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) previously introduced the measure in the House in April 1999, October 2000 and June 2001. Sen. Robert Toricelli (D-N.J.) sponsored identical legislation in the Senate in 1999 and 2000 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/6/01).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.