Bush To Request $2.7B for FY 2005 AIDS, TB, Malaria Spending, Sources Say
President Bush plans to request $2.7 billion for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria spending for fiscal year 2005, sources involved in the budget process said on Tuesday, Reuters reports. White House sources declined to comment on the AIDS funding levels, saying that no final decisions have been made. However, if the $2.7 billion amount is approved, it would represent an increase over the $2.4 billion expected to be appropriated by Congress for the diseases for FY 2004. Despite the projected increase, some AIDS advocates hope Bush will request at least $3 billion in the 2005 budget. According to AIDS advocates, Congress has authorized up to $3.6 billion for AIDS in 2005, Reuters reports. Administration officials have said that the president has held back his support for providing $3 billion per year for AIDS because of concerns that there is not sufficient infrastructure in place to spend the money, adding, "President Bush made the largest single upfront commitment in history for an international health initiative involving a specific disease and his budgets are going to continue to reflect that commitment." However, advocates say that more money is needed immediately to confront the epidemic. "In the face of that kind of an emergency, we've got to front-load the funding to respond. It is not something that we should be scaling up slowly. I don't think ($2.7 billion) is an adequate response," Joanne Carter, legislative director of the advocacy group RESULTS, said. Bush's proposed FY 2005 budget is expected to be sent to Congress on Feb. 2, according to Reuters (Entous, Reuters, 1/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.