Press Release by Congresswoman Pelosi

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi


Pelosi Calls for Increased AIDS Funding and Medicaid Expansion to Address Disparities in AIDS Care

June 23, 1999


Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today called for substantial funding increases in Ryan White CARE Act programs and for passage of legislation to give states the option to expand their Medicaid programs to cover people early in the course of HIV infection. "Powerful new treatments for AIDS are for everyone, not just the lucky few with the best health insurance," Pelosi said. "Our investment in AIDS research is paying off. Now we must fully fund programs that deliver the benefits of this life enhancing treatment to all those with HIV -- including women, people of color, youth, and the uninsured."

Pelosi spoke in response to research published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association which found that significant disparities in the quality of AIDS care persist, though they have been reduced over the last several years. For example, the study found that African Americans, Latinos, women and people with no health insurance are less likely to receive protease inhibitors for treatment of HIV.

As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, Pelosi has long made increases in AIDS funding her top priority. Last year, Ryan White CARE funding increased by $262 million (or 23%) to $1.4 billion. Pelosi has also introduced legislation (H.R. 1591) with House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt and 65 other members of the House that would give states the option to expand their Medicaid programs to provide drugs and primary care to HIV-positive people early in the course of their disease.


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