Calif. Gov. Schwarzenegger’s FY 2005-06 Budget Proposal Provides Additional $29.4M for State’s ADAP
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Monday released his $85.7 billion fiscal year 2005-2006 budget proposal that includes an additional $29.4 million for the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program to cover an increasing caseload, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Gledhill, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/11). The state Office of AIDS administers the ADAP, which is a federal- and state-funded program that provides HIV/AIDS-related medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured HIV-positive individuals (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/10). The proposed budget includes about $381 million for the Office of AIDS' Treatment and Prevention Program, which provides funding to local organizations that support HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs, provide HIV counseling and testing services, conduct epidemiological studies and treatment monitoring, offer housing assistance and home and community-based care and provide HIV/AIDS drug assistance to low-income HIV-positive people statewide. The proposed funding represents a total increase of $20.1 million, or 5.6%, above the revised FY 2004-2005 budget. Approximately 70% of the total Treatment and Prevention Program budget, or $263.6 million, will go to the state's ADAP, which is expected to provide treatment to nearly 30,446 HIV-positive residents in FY 2005-2006 (Governor's Budget 2005-06, 1/11). The FY 2004-2005 budget provided $234 million for the state's ADAP (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/2/04).
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation on Monday "strongly praised" Schwarzenegger's proposal to increase funding for the state's ADAP, according to a SFAF release. "Low-income people with HIV and AIDS can breathe a huge sigh of relief today as a result of the governor's compassionate decision," Dana Van Gorder, director of state and local affairs for SFAF, said, adding, "The ability of low-income people living with HIV and AIDS to access this program is a matter of life and death, and the governor clearly recognized this fact. AIDS advocates are especially thankful to him for fully funding ADAP at a time when the state continues to face significant fiscal challenges" (SFAF release, 1/10). AIDS Project Los Angeles on Monday also lauded Schwarzenegger's proposed funding increase for ADAP, according to an APLA release. "California's investment in this vital program is one of those rare short-term efficiencies that also pays off in the long run," APLA Executive Director Craig Thompson said, adding, "The state Office of AIDS has negotiated some of the nation's lowest prices on key HIV/AIDS medications. In an era of widespread alarm over rapidly rising pharmacy prices, California's ADAP program is a model for innovative ways to reduce or cap rapidly rising pharmaceutical costs" (APLA release, 1/10).