Columnist Discusses Lifting Of Needle Exchange Funding Ban
"The heavy lifting" for garnering Congressional support for eliminating the federal ban on funding for needle exchange programs "was left to David Obey, the Democrat from Wisconsin who chairs both the House Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Labor, Education, Health and Human Services," Boston Globe columnist Derrick Jackson writes in response to the introduction of legislation by the House Appropriations Committee last week that would lift the ban. Jackson also notes that while President Obama addressed needle exchange during the campaign, his FY 2010 budget continued the ban and that a "White House spokesmen said [President] Obama need[ed] time to 'build support' with Congress and the public to get rid of the ban." In discussing the history behind the ban and the science supporting the use of needle exchange programs, Jackson says, "It is time, with the House having taken the lead, for [President] Obama to get out front and say once and for all that science takes the front seat to ideology," concluding, "Some issues are too critical to the very lives of Americans to wait to 'build support'" (7/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.