Bush FY 2007 Budget Proposal Would Increase Funding for Global HIV/AIDS, Millennium Challenge Corporation
President Bush's proposed fiscal year 2007 budget, which was released on Monday, would increase funding for global HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria initiatives and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, CQ HealthBeat reports (Speck, CQ HealthBeat, 2/6). Bush's proposed budget includes approximately $4 billion for the fourth year of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (President's FY 2007 Budget, 2/6). Of that funding, $300 million would go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Odessey, Washington File, 2/6). PEPFAR is a five-year, $15 billion program that directs funding for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria primarily to 15 focus countries and provides funding to the Global Fund (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/2/05). According to the administration, the increase would allow the U.S. to deliver antiretroviral drugs to an additional 900,000 PEPFAR recipients in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean by 2008 (CQ HealthBeat, 2/6).
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Bush's budget proposal also includes $3 billion for MCC, which was created to administer funds for the Millennium Challenge Account, a program meant to encourage economic and political reforms in developing countries (AFP/Yahoo! News, 2/6). Currently, 23 countries are eligible to apply for MCC funding (Washington File, 2/6). The proposed $3 billion would give enough funding to sign agreements with eight additional countries, according to CQ Health Beat (CQ HealthBeat, 2/6). For FY 2006, Bush also requested $3 billion, and Congress approved $1.7 billion, Washington File reports (Washington File, 2/6). The administration had expected to earmark $5 billion annually beginning in FY 2007 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/8/05).
Bush's budget proposal includes $188 million for a new Domestic HIV/AIDS Initiative, $95 million of which would be provided through the Ryan White CARE Act for treatment and outreach and $93 million through CDC for increased testing among high-risk populations (FY 2007 HHS Budget in Brief, 2/6). In his State of the Union address last week, Bush called on Congress to reauthorize the CARE Act and increase funding for states to eliminate waiting lists for HIV/AIDS-related medications in the U.S. (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/3). Of the portion of the proposed budget dedicated to the Ryan White CARE Act, $70 million would go toward reducing AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists and providing newly diagnosed people with access to drugs (President's 2007 Budget, 2/6). ADAPs are federal- and state-funded programs that provide HIV/AIDS-related medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured HIV-positive individuals. The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors on Wednesday released the latest ADAP Watch, which shows that 954 HIV-positive people were on waiting lists in 10 states as of Jan. 18 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/3). Bush's budget proposal also includes cuts for some domestic HIV/AIDS programs, including a $15 million decrease in funding for HIV/AIDS research, according to an HIV Medicine Association release (HIVMA release, 2/7). Bush's budget proposal also includes reductions in Medicaid, which is the largest payer of care for people living with HIV/AIDS nationwide, according to a San Francisco AIDS Foundation release.
"While the president's targeted funding initiatives are welcomed, they are insufficient given the more than one million Americans living with HIV/AIDS today," SFAF Executive Director Mark Cloutier said (SFAF release, 2/7). "We've got people all around the country waiting in line for lifesaving HIV drugs and other services, and while we appreciate this call for new funding we will need much more, or we'll just keep playing catch-up with a growing epidemic," AIDS Project Los Angeles Executive Director Craig Thompson said (APLA release, 2/6). Meanwhile, the American Foundation for AIDS Research urged Congress to provide sufficient funding for medical research through NIH. "This budget has grave implications for scientific research to combat HIV and AIDS," amfAR Vice President Judy Auerbach said (amfAR release, 2/7).