The U.S. House of Representatives voted last night to restore approximately $6.3 million in cuts by the Bush Administration to the City’s Ryan White CARE Act (RWCA) funds. These funds were included in the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill approved by the House.
In the 2006-07 federal fiscal year, the RWCA allocation for San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties was $27.96 million compared to the $18.81 million RWCA allocation proposed by the Bush Administration for 2007-08.
This difference would have resulted in roughly $8.09 million in cuts to RWCA funding for the City & County of San Francisco.
“On behalf of San Francisco, I want to thank Speaker Pelosi for her work to restore the drastic reduction in funding that San Francisco receives under Ryan White,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
“This restoration has far-reaching implications for the stability of HIV/AIDS funding in San Francisco.”
Earlier in the week, House Democrats defeated a proposal by Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) to strip language from the bill that restored the Bush Administration cuts to the Ryan White CARE Act.
The RWCA funding for San Francisco protects services for patients receiving primary medical care, access to counseling, support, outreach services, transitional and emergency housing and emergency payments for health care costs.
“AIDS is a disease that has taken more than 18,000 lives in the city of San Francisco alone,” continued Newsom.
“Ryan White has been instrumental in the fight to defeat AIDS.”
Currently, an estimated 19,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco (roughly 9,000 people with AIDS and 10,000 with HIV). As of June 30, 2007 — 27,234 people have been diagnosed with AIDS.
Newsom traveled to Washington, DC last June, meeting with various lawmakers including Speaker Pelosi, Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer, in order to ensure that full funding of the Ryan White Care Act is a top priority.
In addition to the $6.3million for the Ryan White CARE act fix, the bill also includes $1 million for additional HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs and $1million for the Direct Access to Housing program.
The bill will next be considered by a House-Senate Conference Committee later this summer.