House Should Restore $100M for Global Fund in HHS Appropriations Bill, Editorial Says
The House should restore the $100 million for the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria that it dropped from its fiscal year 2006 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (HR 3010) but that the Senate included in its version in order to "advance public health immeasurably and save countless lives in more than 100 countries," an Akron Beacon Journal editorial says. So far, the "generosity" of the U.S. has translated into federal funding representing about one-third of the Global Fund's financing, the editorial says, adding that the U.S. would have to contribute $800 million next year to represent one-third of the estimated $2.8 billion the fund needs to pay for new grants and existing programs in 2006. However, "[c]hances are nil that Congress will put up" that amount, according to the Beacon Journal. Traditionally, Congress appropriates money for the Global Fund in the foreign aid and HHS spending bills, the editorial notes. Although the FY 2006 foreign operations appropriations bill (HR 3057) includes $450 million for the fund, the House's action to drop the $100 million from the HHS appropriations bill is "indefensible," the editorial says. "It is essential [lawmakers] recognize the critical role of the Global Fund," the editorial says, adding that the $100 million could pay for approximately 630,000 insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria or HIV testing for about 370,000 people. "The House should assert this country's leadership on global health initiatives and restore the $100 million," the editorial says (Akron Beacon Journal, 11/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.