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Ryan White Act Rewrite Advances


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Ryan White Act Rewrite Advances

by The Associated Press

May 18, 2006 - 7:00 pm ET

(Washington) More federal AIDS care money would go to Southern and rural states under legislation approved by a Senate committee.

The revisions affect the 1990 Ryan White CARE Act, which sends about $2 billion a year to state and local programs for AIDS drugs and care for the neediest patients.

The largest federal program specifically for people with HIV/AIDS gives money directly to states and to designated metropolitan areas with high concentrations of AIDS patients.

Lawmakers in some Southern and rural states have complained they do not get their fair share of money because they lack one of the designated metropolitan areas.

The revisions, the first changes since 2000, would send at least $30 million more directly to states.

"There are some changes in the formulas that recognize some of the shifts in population, and also some of the increases in AIDS in rural areas," said the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Sen. Mike Enzi. The committee approved the measure by a 19-1 vote.

Enzi, R-Wyo., is among the lawmakers who have contended that the law, named after an Indiana teenager who died of AIDS, has not kept pace with changes in the disease as AIDS spread to Southern states and minority populations.

Lawmakers from California and other big states have worried about losing money under the proposed changes. The bill gradually would reduce money for some places, but would allow applications for more dollars.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., was the one committee member voting no. She said New York could lose $20 million under new formulas.

Senate aides hope for passage in June and action in the House the same month.

©365Gay.com 2006


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