Letter to the Administration Re: FY2013

January 17, 2012 in ABAC Working Group

PDF: Letter to Administration Re: FY13

AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition

(An affiliated workgroup of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership)

January 13, 2012

The Honorable Barack Obama

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

We are writing on behalf of the AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition (ABAC), a working group of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership, to thank you for your strong continued commitment to addressing HIV/AIDS in the United States. We thank you for your bold and compassionate address this past World AIDS Day when you announced your Administration’s commitment “to ending the AIDS pandemic once and for all” and your pledge to fight against HIV “today, tomorrow, every day until we get to zero.”

We also thank you for recognizing the acute funding shortages in the Ryan White Program and announcing $50 million in additional funding for care and treatment. This $35 million for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and $15 million for Part C grantees are greatly appreciated. We look forward to its timely distribution. As you develop your FY 2013 budget, in order to provide continuity of care and treatment, we feel it is absolutely critical that this additional funding be continued and included in your budget request to the Congress.

While we understand the modest increase to ADAP and to the NIH, and in this budget environment, level funding for other parts of the Ryan White Program and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative in the final FY 2012 appropriation, we are concerned with the cuts to several crucial HIV/AIDS programs and the harmful policy riders that were included in the final bill. Specifically, we are concerned with:

1) The reinstatement of the federal funding ban on syringe exchange programs;

2) A cut of $10 million—a reduction of twenty-five percent—to the CDC’s HIV Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH);

3) The resurrection of dedicated discretionary funding for ineffective and non-evidence based abstinence-only-until-marriage programs; and

4) A cut of $2.3 million to the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) at HUD.

As you develop your FY 2013 budget request, we ask that these cuts be restored and that you not include the harmful syringe exchange policy rider and the wasteful abstinence-only-until-marriage program funding. Additionally, we encourage you to provide adequate funding increases for other critical domestic HIV/AIDS programs in order to fulfill the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, including HIV prevention at the CDC, all parts of the Ryan White Program, HOPWA and AIDS research at the NIH. These increases are even more necessary now considering the across the board funding cuts and potential sequestration that will take effect in early 2013.

Again, we thank you for your continued leadership and support, and look forward to working with you and your Administration in the coming year on the FY 2013 budget.  If you have any questions, please contact the ABAC co-chairs Donna Crews at dcrews@aidsunited.org, Jen Heitel Yakush at jyakush@siecus.org, or Carl Schmid at cschmid@theaidsinstitute.org.

Sincerely,

Donna Crews

Director of Government Affairs

AIDS United

Jen Heitel Yakush

Director of Public Policy

SIECUS

Carl Schmid

Deputy Executive Director

The AIDS Institute

 

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