HHS Proposal To Cut Ryan White Funding for Highly Affected Metropolitan Areas Is ‘Irresponsible and Unfair,’ Editorial Says
An HHS proposal for the reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act that would redirect financial aid from metropolitan areas with successful HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs to states that have "lagged behind" in the fight against the disease is "both irresponsible and unfair" and is tantamount to "punishing areas that have rallied the community to combat AIDS," a New York Times editorial says (New York Times, 8/18). HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt last month called on Congress to reauthorize the act and outlined the changes the Bush administration would like to have made to the program, including an end to current provisions that allow certain metropolitan areas to be "held harmless" from possible Ryan White grant reductions (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/28). If the changes are approved by Congress next month, they "could devastate existing state and city programs in the most AIDS-intensive areas of the nation," such as New York and California, the editorial says. The administration's proposal "amounts to a wholesale undermining of the most successful programs" and lawmakers and the public should "rebuff such a wrenching setback to the AIDS campaign," the editorial concludes (New York Times, 8/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.