WASHINGTON – Calling unanimous House passage of the Ryan White CARE Act "historic," Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) praised the reauthorization of the bill, including retention of key language that protects San Francisco from drastic cuts to its funding.
"The recent declines we have seen in AIDS deaths are a direct result of the therapies and services that have been made more widely available through the CARE Act, but more needs to be done," she said. "Passage of today’s reauthorization will go a long way toward making sure that our community, and those throughout the nation, continue to receive adequate funding to care for our people with HIV/AIDS."
After weeks of intense discussions, Pelosi and her colleagues were able to "hold harmless" San Francisco from most of the changes in the funding formula that had been discussed earlier. Originally, opponents of the hold harmless provision attempted to cut the City’s funding by nearly $40 million over the five-year reauthorization period. Then, working with negotiators from the House and Senate, Pelosi and her allies were able to reduce the negative impact on San Francisco to only 15 percent – about $7.5 million --over five years.
"The Ryan White program is an important example of the way that effective leadership at the federal, state and local levels can translate into improved health outcomes for the people of this nation," she said. "I wish to commend my colleagues, including Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Edward J. Kennedy (D-MA), for their leadership on this bill and for their leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS."
Pelosi, who serves as a senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said she was pleased with retaining improved "hold harmless" language for the City, but remained "committed to securing an even better result for the people of our community" through the appropriations process.