Pelosi Applauds Federal Funding for HIV/AIDS Care in San Francisco in Consolidated Appropriations Act

Dec 10, 2009
Press Release

Contact: Brendan Daly/Nadeam Elshami/Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement after House passage of the fiscal year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which included a provision that prevents drastic cuts to San Francisco?s federal HIV/AIDS care and treatment funding. The bill passed the House today by a vote of 221 to 202.

?The Ryan White Act has always focused on establishing and maintaining effective systems of health care. This means avoiding drastic cuts that destabilize existing resources people living with HIV/AIDS rely upon for care and medications. For this reason, many of us remain disappointed that Senate Republicans blocked an effort during the recent Ryan White reauthorization to permanently correct flaws in the Bush Administration?s implementation of the 2006 reauthorization, which caused severe cuts for San Francisco and several other jurisdictions.

?As a result, it was necessary to again address this issue through the appropriations process, as we have successfully done the past two years. The omnibus appropriations bill passed today by the House of Representatives includes a provision to protect San Francisco and four other urban areas from these drastic cuts to their HIV/AIDS systems of care.

?This essential protection will restore more than $5 million in funding for the San Francisco Eligible Metropolitan Area, which includes Marin and San Mateo counties. I am grateful to Chairman David Obey of the Appropriations Committee for his crucial assistance in including this language in the omnibus bill, while still providing a large increase for all of the jurisdictions impacted by this portion of the Ryan White Act, which goes directly to all metropolitan areas heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS.

?San Francisco developed the model of community-based care that served as the basis for the original Ryan White CARE Act, and our needs are still severe. AIDS continues to be the City?s third leading cause of premature death for men, and more San Franciscans are currently living with HIV/AIDS than at any point in the history of the epidemic. In addition, approximately 30 percent of San Franciscans in need of antiretroviral medications are not yet receiving those lifesaving medications. Restoration of these funds was critical for our system of care.?

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Some Senate Republicans have mischaracterized the impact of this ?stop-loss? language by claiming it takes resources from other jurisdictions. However, as in previous years, the omnibus provides a significant increase for Part A of Ryan White - enough to reduce these cuts to an amount jurisdictions can realistically absorb in one fiscal year while still ensuring large increases for all other jurisdictions.

Even after $6 million is used to reduce cuts for the five jurisdictions impacted by this provision, there is still a $10 million increase for this portion of Ryan White. In addition, the $10.8 million used to fulfill last year?s stop-loss provision is now part of the baseline, so the amount in the House bill available for other Part A jurisdictions not impacted by the stop-loss is over $20 million more than in FY09. This represents the third largest increase for Part A in ten years.