Alabama Senate Approves Emergency Funding That Would Help 200 HIV-Positive Patients Maintain ADAP Coverage
The Alabama Senate on Wednesday approved 29-0 an appropriations bill that would provide $1 million in emergency funding for the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the AP/Tuscaloosa News reports. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the emergency funding is necessary to prevent 200 HIV-positive people currently enrolled in the program from being dropped (Rawls, AP/Tuscaloosa News, 4/13). ADAPs are federal- and state-funded programs that provide HIV/AIDS-related medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured HIV-positive individuals. Alabama's ADAP last month sent letters to the doctors of the 200 patients who most recently joined the program stating that the patients will be removed if the state does not approve emergency funding for the program (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/13). The legislation, which the state Senate altered, now moves to the state House, which approved the original measure on March 8. The House likely will approve the Senate-amended measure, according to state Health Officer Don Williamson. Jeff Emerson, Gov. Bob Riley's (R) communications director, said the governor plans to sign the bill (AP/Tuscaloosa News, 4/13). Alabama -- which froze enrollment in its ADAP in 2004 because of funding constraints -- had 571 people on its ADAP waiting list as of Wednesday, the Montgomery Advertiser reports (McGrew, Montgomery Advertiser, 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.