Increased Ryan White CARE Act Funding to Rural Areas Should Not Come at Expense of Urban Areas, Editorial Says
Reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides funding for HIV/AIDS programs in the U.S., has stalled in Congress for months because of the "cynical assumption that a Solomon-like choice must be made between two groups of states," a Newark Star-Ledger editorial says (Newark Star-Ledger, 10/13). Congress last month adjourned without the Senate passing a measure to reauthorize the CARE Act. Five senators, including some from New Jersey and New York, blocked Senate consideration of a House-approved bill (HR 6143) sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) that would change CARE Act funding formulas so that rural areas experiencing increasing numbers of HIV/AIDS cases receive increased funding amounts, which would decrease funding allocated to urban areas. Some legislators from states with large urban areas -- including California, New Jersey and New York -- have opposed measures that would change CARE Act funding formulas, saying they could harm HIV/AIDS programs in areas with higher HIV prevalence (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/5). Until Congress can pass legislation that "provide[s] the kind of AIDS funding that does right by the entire country," it should approve a measure sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) that would retain the current CARE Act funding formula, according to the editorial. "Southern states and others that have seen their rates of new AIDS cases spike ... must get the help they need -- but not at the expense of New Jersey and other veterans of the AIDS wars," the editorial says (Newark Star-Ledger, 10/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.