On December 6th, the United States Senate passed, by unanimous
consent, a compromise version to reauthorize funding for the Ryan White
CARE Act. The program, since 1990, has provided critical care and
treatment to low-income Americans living with HIV and AIDS.
"Today's passage is a critical step in securing that a life-line for
many Americans remains intact," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe
Solmonese. "It is encouraging that Congress was able to find a
compromise on this bill and we look forward to securing House passage
before the 109th Congress adjourns. We salute the dedicated work of
Senators Kennedy and Enzi, as well as Representatives Dingell and Barton
in finding a workable solution to ensure low-income Americans living
with HIV and AIDS continue to receive critical health care services."
HRC remains deeply concerned about the inadequate funding levels the
Ryan White CARE Act has received in recent years. This lack of funding
led to significant difficulties in directing new funds to emerging
communities in dire need without subsequent losses for urban areas with
a large concentration of people living with HIV and AIDS. HRC is
pleased that the compromise legislation includes measures to protect
areas that have long been the epicenters of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
"As we move forward with a new Congressional leadership, it is important
that Congress increase funding for the CARE Act so that all Americans
living with HIV/AIDS, no matter where they live, have access to
life-saving medical care and supportive services," added Solmonese.
Due to the active involvement of the Human Rights Campaign throughout
the entire process of reauthorization consideration, the bill continues
to be free of any anti-gay or anti-HIV discriminatory provisions. The
reauthorization and full funding of the Ryan White CARE Act continues to
be a top legislative priority for the Human Rights Campaign, the
nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy
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