A billion here, a billion there . . . .
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/04/19
Senator Everett Dirksen is credited with the remark, about Congress’s habitual tendency to spend taxpayers’ money on all sorts of projects, that “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money”. One wonders what he would have said about HIV/AIDS, which gobbles up far more for research per patient death ($180,000) than cancer ($10,000) or cardiovascular disease ($2600) (STOPPING THE HIV/AIDS BANDWAGON—Part II, 1 February 2008; data from http://www.fairfoundation.org/factslinks.htm).
But in addition to billions spent on research, further billions are spent on treatment:
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt has announced grants of more than $1.1 billion to provide primary care, medications and services for low-income and underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS.
Funded under Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, the grants are awarded to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Also receiving grants are the U.S. Pacific Territories of American Samoa and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; and the Associated Jurisdictions of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of Palau. HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) manages the Ryan White program.
“These Ryan White HIV/AIDS Part B grants help ensure Americans, especially those in rural and underserved communities, affected by HIV/AIDS get access to the care they need through quality health care and support systems,” Secretary Leavitt said. “These grants strengthen community, city and state capacities to care for those with HIV.”
The majority of the funding, $774 million, supports state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) that provide prescription medications for HIV/AIDS patients. In 2006, close to 158,000 ADAP clients were served through state ADAPs.
Part B awards also include formula base grants that can be used for home and community-based services, insurance continuation, ADAP assistance, and other direct services. Fourteen states will also receive Emerging Community (EC) grants based on the number of AIDS cases over the most recent 5-year period.
“Ryan White Part B awards reflect the urgent need for life-saving medications for those living with HIV/AIDS,” said HRSA Administrator Elizabeth Duke. “Today we are thankful and proud that all ADAP waiting lists have been eliminated.”
Every year, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program helps more than 530,000 people access the care and services they need to live longer, healthier lives. Information on all domestic, Federal HIV/AIDS programs is available at http://www.aids.gov. HRSA, part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit http://www.hrsa.gov.”
“Socialized medicine” is a cuss-word (cuss-phrase?) in the United States. There is strenuous opposition to any suggestion of a “one-payer” health-care system. But an exception is made for HIV/AIDS, because the story was successfully sold that it is so dire a threat to everyone. Two decades of a non-spreading “epidemic” have not yet modified that belief.
This entry was posted on 2008/04/19 at 11:02 am and is filed under Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS numbers. Tagged: disproportionate funding for HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS funding, Ryan White Act, Senator Everett Dirksen, socialized HIV/AIDS medicine, socialized medicine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.