Senate Committee Approves Revisions for Ryan White CARE Act Reauthorization
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Wednesday voted 19-1 to approve a bill (S 2823) that would alter the Ryan White CARE Act by allocating more federal HIV/AIDS funding to Southern and rural states, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports (Werner, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 5/17). The bill would include revising the formulas for funding calculations to include HIV cases and not just AIDS cases, according to CQ HealthBeat. In addition, the bill, sponsored by HELP Committee Chair Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) would create a "tiered system of larger and smaller cities in an effort to distribute funds to more rural states," CQ HealthBeat reports. The bill also would mandate 75% of funding go to "core medical services," such as medications and physician visits and also would set a minimum drug formulary (Blinkhorn/Schuler, CQ HealthBeat, 5/17). Enzi said, "There are some changes in the formulas that recognize some of the shifts in population and also some of the increases in AIDS in rural areas" (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 5/17). Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), the only senator to vote against the bill, said states with urban centers are most affected by HIV/AIDS and should not have their funding reduced, adding that New York state could lose $20 million under the proposed revisions, CQ HealthBeat reports. President Bush has requested $2.1 billion for the program for fiscal year 2007 (CQ HealthBeat, 5/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.