Cutting Sequestration

November 11, 2013

January will be pivotal for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Congress is set to decide whether or not to continue sequestration, which is the term for across-the-board funding caps on vital services.

The longer Congress waits to end sequestration, the more holes this practice puts in a safety net that millions of Americans rely on. This January, Congress will have the opportunity to repeal sequestration; however, it will also have the opportunity to continue it or make it more stringent. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is profoundly concerned about these latter possibilities because of their effect on our clients and partners.

We will be advocating with the Illinois congressional delegation to remove these caps.

Watch this short, 2:30 video from David Ernesto Munar, AFC’s President/CEO. In it, he speaks generally about sequestration and HIV/AIDS. He then answers the question, “What would you tell Congress about the impact of these cuts?”

So what’s at stake for people living with HIV/AIDS in the context of sequestration?

A lot.

These caps would have a devastating effect on myriad programs, encompassing every section of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. This includes vital medical care, supportive services, and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which provides life-saving medication to low-income individuals with HIV. The Ryan White Program delivers HIV-related services to more than half a million people each year.

Moreover, vital HIV/AIDS research and services at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are all in jeopardy of even deeper funding reductions if Congress does not repeal sequestration.

This is unacceptable. All of these programs—and more—are needed to take a comprehensive approach to ending HIV/AIDS.

Join AFC to send a loud, clear message to Congress in January: End sequestration now! Use your zip code to look up your Congressional Representative, and tell them to bring an end to these irresponsible budget caps.

Categorized under Inside Story.

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