More Than 24 Congress Members Request Information on HHS Expenditures for International HIV/AIDS Conference
A group of more than 24 members of Congress have sent a letter to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson "applaud[ing]" him for limiting federal funding for government employees to attend the XV International AIDS Conference in July in Bangkok, Thailand, the Washington Times reports (McCaslin, Washington Times, 4/14). HHS last month announced that it plans to spend $500,000 to send 50 people to the conference, down from the $3.6 million it spent to send 236 people to the 2002 conference in Barcelona, Spain (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/30). "We applaud you for your leadership in working to scale back the largess of the federal involvement at these international conferences," the letter said. However, "spending a half million dollars to send 50 federal employees to a conference -- an average of $10,000 per employee -- still seems like an enormous expense," the letter said. The lawmakers requested an "itemized list" of expenditures related to the conference as well as a cost analysis of HHS-supported conferences on HIV/AIDS and conferences on diseases such as heart disease and breast cancer, the Times reports (Washington Times, 4/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.