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The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) applauds President Barack Obamas 2014 fiscal year budget proposal, which preserves federal funding for essential AIDS-related care, prevention and housing services and dismantles the harmful discretionary funding cuts known as sequestration.
Under sequestration, low-income Americans will experience devastating cuts in health and safety-net services needed for basic survival, said David Ernesto Munar, AFC President/CEO.
We applaud the Presidents plan to repeal and replace sequestration with manageable budget control provisions, Munar continued. If allowed to move forward, sequestration will pit essential AIDS programs against other vital programs and services for a significantly smaller amount of federal funds. The impact on the nations overall budget would be marginal but have no doubt, the consequences for low-income Americans would be exceedingly harsh.
We thank President Obama for continuing to recognize the importance of the Ryan White Program by providing level funding for most of the program, and a $20 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and HIV clinics, said John Peller, Vice President of Policy.
The Affordable Care Act will meet the basic HIV health care needs of people with HIV beginning in 2014. And the Ryan White Program will continue to play a central role by completing ACA coverage with vital services such as housing, food and nutrition, legal services, and case management for highly vulnerable people with HIV.
There is substantial evidence that people with HIV who receive complete coverage in addition to medical care and medications are better able to adhere to medical treatment. Improved adherence improves health outcomes, lowers medical costs, and reduces the risk that people with HIV will transmit the virus to their partners.
Details of the President budget plan include:
Sustained funding levels for Ryan White HIV/AIDS services, including a $10 million proposed funding increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and a $10 million proposed increase for HIV/AIDS clinics funded through Part C of the Ryan White Program
Sustained funding levels for HIV/AIDS prevention services at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with a $14 million proposed increase
Sustained funding levels for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program, and a modernized funding formula that would better reflect the current housing needs of people with HIV
Increased HIV-related funding for the National Institutes of Health and Veterans Administration
The Republican-led House passed a budget plan earlier this year that would drastically reduce HIV and other safety-net services beginning as early as 2014. As the House begins review of the Presidents requested appropriations, members are likely to call for radically lower funding levels than those sought by the President.
Stay tuned for more information on the federal budget, including ways you can advocate for adequate and appropriate funding for these and other vital services our communities need.