DeWine Amendment ‘Last Chance’ for U.S. To ‘Keep Promise to the World,’ Editorial Says
An amendment proposed by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), which the Senate is expected to consider on Tuesday, "is the last chance to bring Washington closer to keeping its promise to the world in 2004" to provide $3 billion for the fight against AIDS, a New York Times editorial says. The amendment would increase funding for the global AIDS initiative in fiscal year 2004 from about $2.1 billion to $2.4 billion, which would allow the Bush administration to spend $2 billion on its own programs and donate $400 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is "half what the rest of the world combined will provide," according to the Times (New York Times, 10/28). Although the measure (HR 1298) supporting the global AIDS initiative authorizes $3 billion for FY 2004, the Bush administration has requested only $2 billion. Bush said that his administration requested less than $3 billion in funding for the first year of the initiative in order to give the program time to "ramp up." The Senate last month rejected an amendment to the FY 2004 labor, health and education services appropriations bill (HR 2660) that would have added $1 billion to the roughly $2 billion already appropriated by the Senate. The House has approved approximately $2 billion for the AIDS initiative for FY 2004 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/17). The Senate should pass the amendment and "then persuade the White House and the House of Representatives to support the change," the editorial says, concluding, "Every dollar spent today to prevent the spread of the disease and keep parents alive for their children will save money tomorrow" (New York Times, 10/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.