Press Room

February 26, 2004

Category: HIV & AIDS

HRC Applauds House Reintroduction of Early Treatment for HIV Act

Bill Would Allow States to Provide Medicaid Coverage to Low-Income Individuals with HIV

WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques released the following statement today applauding the House reintroduction of the Early Treatment for HIV Act, a measure that would allow states the option of providing Medicaid funds to low-income HIV-positive individuals who have not yet developed full-blown AIDS.

"We applaud the bipartisan group of representatives who introduced this important legislation," said Jacques. "Right now, states don't even have the option of providing health care with their Medicaid dollars to low-income individuals with HIV. Instead, they have to wait until those citizens develop the serious illnesses associated with full-blown AIDS. Having access to treatment would not only help these citizens, but would also save the state money in the long run. It's time to untie the hands of the states in this regard."

The measure was introduced in the House on Feb. 26 with 20 Republican and 51 Democratic co-sponsors. Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are the bill's lead sponsors. The Senate version, S. 847, was introduced in the spring of 2003 by lead sponsors Sens. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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