Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a member of the Labor-Health and Human Services and Education subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, has successfully included large increases in spending for AIDS programs and research in the FY'99 Omnibus Budget bill. The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) realized one of the biggest gains--an increase of $175.5 million dollars over last year. "Increasing the funding for ADAP offers hope to those people who are not able to afford the full regimen of medications and combination therapies. This is life or death funding," Pelosi said. Nationally, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program averages 1,000 new clients each month.
In addition to the increase in ADAP funding, Rep. Pelosi reports AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health will increase by $197 million to $1.79 billion; and overall funding for the Ryan White Program, which includes ADAP, will increase by $261 million to $1.411 billion. Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS (HOPWA) increases to $225 million from $204 million. Pelosi, who is the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee, succeeded in getting up to $125 million for bilateral and multilateral global AIDS programs.
Rep. Pelosi, who fought for the Congressional Black Caucus AIDS Initiative, was pleased to announce $110 million for its programs targeting communities of color. "HIV/AIDS is spreading fastest in the communities of color. The Congressional Black Caucus should be commended for creating a plan that begins to address this very serious problem," Pelosi said.
Overall, Rep. Pelosi was disappointed with the lack of attention given to prevention. HIV prevention through the Centers for Disease Control will increase by $22 million to $647 million largely because of $18 million included in the Congressional Black Caucus Initiative. "With 40,000 new infections every year in America, and nearly 6 million annual infections in the world, now is not the time to pull back on our prevention initiatives," Pelosi said.
Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY 99
All numbers in millions
FY 98 FY 99 Change Ryan White Program Emergency Assistance 464.8 505.2 8.7% Comprehensive Care 257.3 277.0 7.7% AIDS Drug Assistance Program 285.5 461.0 61.5% Early Intervention Programs 76.2 94.3 23.8% Pediatric Demonstrations 40.8 46.0 12.7% Education & Training Centers 17.2 20.0 16.3% AIDS Dental Services 7.8 7.8 0% Total 1,149.5 1,411.3 22.8% CDC HIV Prevention 624.9 647.0 3.5% Pre/Postnatal counseling & testing 0 10.0 -- NIH AIDS Research 1,595 1,792 12.4% ------------- Included in the House VA-HUD Appropriations Bill: Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS 204 225 10.2%
Rep. Pelosi praised President Clinton for his support of these programs during the tense budget negotiations that marked the end of the 105th Congress.
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