Senate Should Approve Amendment Calling for Full Funding in First Year of Global AIDS Initiative, Editorial Says
The Senate this week should approve an amendment that calls for full funding in the first year of the global AIDS initiative, a vote that will "go a long way toward determining if the U.S. will keep its promise to lead the world in the fight against AIDS," according to a Chicago Tribune editorial (Chicago Tribune, 9/9). Although the bill (HR 1298) supporting the initiative, which was signed into law by President Bush in May, authorizes $3 billion for the first year of the program, the Bush administration has requested only $2 billion. The House has approved a total of $2 billion for the AIDS initiative in fiscal year 2004, and a Senate committee so far has approved about the same amount (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/29). The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), calls for the full $3 billion to be appropriated in the first year of the program, according to the editorial. The AIDS epidemic is "more than a health or humanitarian crisis," the Tribune says, adding, "It is also an economic and political catastrophe as the disease takes young people in their prime years and threatens to destabilize regions of the world already in turmoil." The Tribune concludes that the "magnitude of the [HIV/AIDS] crisis -- tens of millions of lives at stake -- does not allow the luxury of delay" (Chicago Tribune, 9/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.