Obama Administration Proposes FY 2013 Budget
February 14, 2012 by Andrea Levario, Senior Public Policy Advocate
Each February, we anxiously await arrival of the President’s annual budget to learn how programs affecting the lives of LGBT Americans will receive the funds necessary to make a difference. Yesterday, President Obama sent his proposed budget for FY 2013 to Congress. As with every year, we are closely examining the proposal to see how funds are allocated to programs affecting the lives of LGBT Americans and people living with HIV and AIDS. Yesterday's news – that funding was cut in a broad range of government programs – was not unexpected, in large part because the budget agreement reached last April set hard spending limits, leaving little room for the Administration to propose new initiatives. That said, the President did demonstrate his continued support of our community by directing new money to high priority programs.
While we are digging in and reviewing the various line-items, a few key points do stand-out so far. The President’s budget includes:
- A $67 million increase in funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) under the Ryan White Care Act (RWCA), raising the program total to $1 billion. These new resources are critically important given over 4,100 people are currently on ADAP waiting lists in 12 states
- An increase of $15 million for Part C of the RWCA, expanding access to critical early intervention and primary care services for the most vulnerable populations living with HIV/AIDS
- Federal funds for local communities to use in support of syringe exchange programs
- An overall increase in spending on HIV/AIDS of $800 million from FY 2012
Several other programs did not fare as well. The National Institutes of Health received no funding increase for HIV/AIDS research and funds for HIV/AIDS programs aimed at children, youth, women and families were cut by $8 million. HRC will fight along with our coalition partners and allies in Congress to ensure that no HIV/AIDS program are cut, and research is not stalled due to insufficient funding.
At a time when every dollar counts, failed programs don’t deserve federal funding. Thankfully, the President’s budget cuts $5 million from abstinence-only education, a long-disproven program that ignores, and even denigrates, LGBT youth.
During election years, some in Congress will be looking to score political points, by slashing programs. HRC will do whatever we can to ensure that the programs that matter to our community are not sacrificed in the process.
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