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Deal Paves Way For Approval Of Compromise Ryan White Reauthorization


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Deal Paves Way For Approval Of Compromise Ryan White Reauthorization

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: December 5, 2006 7:00 pm ET

(Washington) The United States Senate passed Tuesday, 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.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) had held up renewal of the act because, in its original form the reauthorization would have reduced federal grants to New York State. The measure also would have cut federal spending in California, Florida and Illinois. The money would have been redirected to rural states, mainly in the South.

Late Tuesday afternoon Clinton struck a deal Tuesday with GOP leaders that would see a reduction in the cuts to the larger states while still giving more money to rural areas.

"We stood our ground, and they gave ground and we came up with a compromise that we can live with. We're very happy," said Clinton,

The revised reauthorization bill, worth 2.1 billion-a-year, must still be approved by the House.

The original bill would have seen New York State lose $100 million and the other big states about $70 million each.

Under the revised version New York will see $8 million chopped.

Clinton said 100,000 New Yorkers infected with HIV should not have been forced to suffer cuts in order to spread money elsewhere.

“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."

Nevertheless, Solmonese said that HRC remains deeply concerned about the inadequate funding levels the Ryan White CARE Act has received in recent years.

“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,” Solmonese said.

©365Gay.com 2006

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