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CARE Act letter to Congress- Every State

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Oceanbeach:
The Honorable (name of Congressperson)
(Address)

Dear (Name of Congressperson)

I am a constituant urging you to reauthorize a Ryan White CARE Act that will fully fund a comprehensive array of care services.

On May 17, 2006 the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions approved legislation to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act (RWCA).  THe RWCA is the dedicated federal source of support for HIV/AIDS care in the United States.

The bill is about to be voted on in the Senate and the House, but funding levels proposed in the legislation are inadequate to address the growing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS in (insert your community and state).  Restrictions placed on spending in the proposed legislation are unnecessary and could deeply harm systems of care which have been proven effective.

The proposed legislation defines eligibility for Title I funding by AIDS cases identified in the last five years.  This standard penalizes our state which has been successful at helping HIV positive people to stay healthy.  A more accurate measure would be counting all living AIDS cases.

The RWCA includes a new tiered funding structure that is considerably more complex than the current system and places our community in position to receive less funding than in the current year.  In (name of your community and state), we have been forced to balance a steadily increasing number of HIV/AIDS cases with diminishing federal support.  Such a drastic cut would be devastating to the care and treatment infrastructure of (your community and state).

Congress is mandating that 75% of CARE Act funding go to "core medical services."  While medical service is critical, so are supportive services like case management, food programs, and housing support.  Especially troubling is a guideline limiting such care to so-called "medical case management", a term with no clear meaning, but which could drastically limit funding to local support agencies.  Hard won experience has proven that supportive services save lives by helping people access and stay in care.

I urge you to support the recommended changes to the legislation proposed by the CAEAR Coalition, a respected national advocacy organization.  The document can be found at www.caear.org/coalition/pdf/CAEARCoalitionRecommendations_5_24.pdf.  Thank you for your continued support.
Sincerely

END OF LETTER

This vote can take place in as little as two weeks.  The names, Washington DC addresses and phone numbers of the members of the Senate Committee on Budget,  the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Subcommittee on Health can be found in the SUPPORT tab of www.Commission-on-AIDS.org Have the best day
Michael

Eldon:
I'm all for the reauthorization. This is one of the reasons WHY we need to develop other resources, to make them available to HIV/AIDS cases.

Oceanbeach:
May 29, 2006 L.A. Times reports...
Millions of dollars for HIV/AIDS treatment for California could be at risk because of a proposal in Congress that would direct more federal funding to rural and Southern states.

The Senate Committee on Health by a 19-1 vote approved the proposal, which would renew and revise the Ryan White CARE Act.

The measure would appropriate about $2 billion annually to HIV and AIDS programs nationwide, is expected to have bi-partisan support as it goes to the full Senate and House.

California lawmakers and activists are particularily worried that the proposed geographic shift in money could come without a substantial increase in overall funding.

California counties that have recorded declining new AIDS cases are most at risk at losing funding:  The new proposed federal guidelines are only AIDS cases, reported within the past 5 years are used in the formula.

Orange County stands to lose so much of its current annual $4.8 million in direct federal funding could drop below $1 million within 5 years.

San Francisco could lose one-forth of its $28 million, it now receives each year.  Which has declined every year since 1996.

Sacramento could lose all of its direct federal funding at $3 million annually.

Sonoma and Santa Clara Counties are also at risk for losing direct funding.  over 90% of all persons living with HIV/AIDS in Orange County, San Francisco County, Marin County, Sonoma County, Santa Clara County, Sacramento County, and Los Angeles County, who are on anti-retrovirals are recieving non-detectable viral loads.

Isn't this a great way to reward a state and its counties for success in treatment and care for it's people living with HIV/AIDS?  Have the best day
Michael

www.Commission-on-AIDS.org

J.R.E.:
Michael,

 Is your site working ?? I don't remember a log-in


 Ray

Oceanbeach:
Hi Ray,

My site is working with almost 2000 log-ins this past week.  Unfortunately, the issue is about to come to an end without good results.  The proposed legislation is not on the House floor yet but could be in as little as 2 weeks and full Senate and House within 2 months.

The point that is being missed by the House of Representatives and the Senate is the need for increased funding levels so all persons living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality care and services.  It does not make good sense to take monies from successful programs, where people are living longer and redistribute those funds to other areas.

I opened this thread with a letter to Congress and asked members of the Forums to fill in the blanks for their states, address and mail the letters to Washington DC.  Time is of the essense here, if the letters do not get out, we lose in California, then which state is next, New York, Florida? We all lose this war.  Have the best day
Michael

www.Commission-on-AIDS.org

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