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Obama Administration Reversal Will Help Keep Florida AIDS Patients on Medications
August 1, 2011
In reaction to concerns raised by The AIDS Institute and members of Florida's congressional delegation, the State of Florida will now be eligible to receive additional funding to maintain beneficiaries on its struggling AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
National Policy Office- Washington, DC: 202-835-8373
Program and Administrative Office- Tampa, FL: 813-258-5929
For Immediate Release: 8.1.11
Media Contact: Carl Schmid, 202-669-8267, firstname.lastname@example.org
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION REVERSAL WILL HELP KEEP FLORIDA AIDS PATIENTS ON MEDICATIONS
Still Limits ADAP Funding to State with Greatest Need
Tampa, FL- In reaction to concerns raised by The AIDS Institute and members of Florida's congressional delegation, the State of Florida will now be eligible to receive additional funding to maintain beneficiaries on its struggling AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), but not enough to make a serious reduction to the waiting list, which now stands at 3,682 people.
"We are pleased the Obama Administration heard our objections and those of others in Florida that its decision to limit the level of emergency ADAP funding to less than what it received last year would have forced the state to remove people currently taking medications from the program." commented Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.
Today, the federal government issued a clarification that allows states, particularly Florida, to receive at least as much as they received in emergency ADAP funding last year rather than be limited to only $3 million. Last year, Florida received $7 million in emergency ADAP funds.
"Despite the doubling of emergency ADAP funding from $25 to $50 million, Florida will basically be restricted to receiving the same level as last year despite having the largest waiting list in the country." added Ruppal.
Florida currently has over 3,680 people on the ADAP waiting list, which represents 42% of the wait lists nationwide. "This new clarification means that Florida will only be eligible to receive up to 18% of the competitive portion of the emergency resources. While this will help keep people currently taking medications now on the program it will not reduce the wait list, which is growing each month." added Ruppal.
"While we certainly acknowledge the Administration's modification will allow existing patients to stay on their medications, this new emergency pot of funding should be distributed to people with HIV/AIDS who need medications the most. We again ask the Administration to reconsider their decision and provide Florida with ADAP emergency relief funding that reflects the state's share of the need." concluded Ruppal.
The AIDS Institute would like to recognize Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and Reps. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and Alcee Hastings for their leadership in ensuring that people with HIV/AIDS in Florida and elsewhere can receive their medications through ADAP.
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The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through public policy research, advocacy and education.