Congress Must ‘Make Good’ on Promise of AIDS Funding, Indianapolis Star Editorial Says
While the international AIDS bill signed Tuesday by President Bush represents a "noble" effort to address the epidemic, "Congress must still make good" on the funding levels promised in the bill, an Indianapolis Star editorial says. The "U.S. AIDS relief train is riding two different tracks" -- the bill itself promises $15 billion over the next five years, but Congress still has to appropriate the money to fund it, the editorial states. AIDS advocates are "rightly worried that the full $15 billion ... will never materialize," the Star states (Indianapolis Star, 5/29). While the bill calls for $3 billion a year for five years, the Bush administration in its fiscal year 2004 budget proposal only recommended $1.7 billion for the initiative. Lawmakers seeking to increase the amount will have to compete with rising military and security costs, an expanding budget deficit and the tax cut bill (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/27). Bush has "taken on an enormous problem with implications not just for the African economy but for global security, [and] it would be a shame if the United States failed to deliver on its promise," the editorial concludes (Indianapolis Star, 5/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.