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AIDS United Policy Update

Latest Update 8/5/11

Disparities Highlight New Estimates of HIV Incidence in the United States
Debt Ceiling Increase Agreement Leaves Federal HIV and Safety Programs in Peril
No Cost Preventive Health Services for Women
What are Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs) and What Do They Mean for People Living with HIV?

Latest Update 7/29/11

Beyond the Debt Ceiling: A Way Forward in HIV

This week, Congress has continued to grapple with deals that would raise the debt ceiling before the August 2 deadline and allow the United States to avoid defaulting on its financial obligations. As of printing time, no deal had been reached and the details surrounding possible compromises are still very dubious. AIDS United sent out an Action Alert encouraging people to call and tell their elected officials to vote for a balanced approcach to deficit reduction. Please stay tuned to AIDS United’s website and Action Alerts to remain active throughout the deficit reduction process to make sure you voice and the voice of the HIV community is heard.

Sitting around and waiting for the outcome of the debt ceiling circus can be a bit maddening in more ways than one, particularly if you don’t derive pleasure from witnessing dysfunction or if you work in a field like public health and HIV programs that are likely to suffer at the hands of deep spending cuts. As Congress continues to back their way into a debt ceiling compromise, one thing has become quite clear: deep spending cuts will be made. Although it is easy to get caught up in every twist, turn, and non-action by our elected representatives, this type of behavior will likely increase your blood pressure and can also be disempowering if you overlook the progress that has been made in the fight against HIV when funding streams unpredictable. Certainly money is what makes it possible to scale up effective programs and interventions as well as protect essential safety net programs like the Ryan White Care Act that serves as the payer of last resort for low-income people living with HIV. However, it is clear that at least for the foreseeable future as we continue to struggle through a stark economic climate and an even starker political climate, we need to be ready to move forward and make the most with whatever resources we have available to us.

Here is a list of 5 ways to maximize the impact of your organization or your own personal advocacy efforts without having to rely on Congress: Read more...


Latest Update: 7/08/2011

AIDS United Fights against Harmful Deficit Reduction Plans

As talks to reduce the federal deficit have heated up, AIDS United and its shareholders have continued to pressure lawmakers to enact a deficit reduction strategy that does not sacrifice the essential needs of people living with HIV, low-income people, and other disenfranchised populations while preserving tax breaks for the wealthy. Please read below for an update on the deficit talks and an analysis of how they directly will impact people living with HIV. Next, read what AIDS United is doing to protect people living with HIV and how you can take action right now.

June 16 - AIDS United adopts positions on fiscal policy
June 24 - Deficit reduction talks led by Vice President Joe Biden threaten to break down as Republican leaders walk out of negotiations
July 1 - President Obama steps in to facilitate a solution that includes spending cuts as well as revenue increases

AIDS United Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Ronald Johnson, Publishes Blog Opposing Destructive Balanced Budget Amendment

The Congressional Republican leadership continues to support a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA), a measure that would force such drastic cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, that it makes the Ryan Fiscal Year 2012 Budget (which was passed by the House and failed in the Senate), benign in comparison. As the U. S. Treasury Department's August 2nd deadline for raising the federal debt limit approaches and talks between Congress and the White House have intensified, the BBA has been able to fly under the radar and escape mainstream scrutiny, although it threatens health and safety net programs to a degree that is beyond any other current proposal to address the nation's debt. Regardless of the deal that is reached, the details will surely have a major impact on people living with HIV, as health care reform, Medicare, and Medicaid are all on the negotiating table. Read more…

AIDS United Helps Organize Call-in Day as Careless Fiscal Policies and Draconian Cuts Threaten HIV Programs

On Thursday, AIDS United asked thousands of stakeholders to call the White House and Congressional Leaders to demand that HIV programs be protected during deficit reduction negotiations. We need to keep the pressure on! It is likely that a deal on the deficit will be reached within the next two weeks. We are going to be counting on HIV organizations, advocates, and stakeholders to make their voices heard THROUGHOUT this process. Please take 5 minutes to make these important phone calls.

Make the calls