Editorial Discusses Needle Exchange Restrictions Included In House Bill
The "onerous restrictions" that are "wrapped up in legislation that ostensibly would lift a 21-year-old ban on using federal money to fund syringe-swapping groups," should be removed once "the House and Senate meet in conference committee to hash out the final legislation," a Washington Post editorial states. The House version of the bill includes geographic restrictions on where needle exchanges can operate. The Senate version does not include such language. "This would render whole sections of cities off-limits. And it would effectively kill [Washington D.C.'s] one needle exchange program," the editorial adds. The Post continues, "An 80 percent reduction in the incidence of HIV in intravenous drug users over the past 20 years can be attributed in part to needle exchange programs funded by localities and private organizations, according to a 2008 report from the CDC. Those still resistant to the facts should look at communities and urban areas grappling with the HIV/AIDS epidemic to understand the importance of making all possible funds available to effectively fight the epidemic," the Post editorial states (8/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.