'It would be unconscionable to pinch pennies when it comes to life-saving health care,' said HRC's David M. Smith.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign praised today's Senate passage of an amendment to the budget that would ensure no funds would be cut to Medicaid, which provides coverage to 55 percent of adults and 90 percent of children living with AIDS. The amendment offered by Sens. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., passed with a 52 to 48 vote.
"It would be unconscionable to pinch pennies when it comes to life-saving health care," said HRC Vice President of Policy David M. Smith.
"We laud the Senate for recognizing the importance of Medicaid funding, especially for Americans living with AIDS who need this coverage for life-saving treatment. We urge the House to follow suit. As it stands, states don't have the funds they need to provide important coverage. This would only exacerbate that problem."
If cuts are made to Medicaid, more patients who rely on Medicaid for life-saving prescriptions would be forced to look to the Ryan White CARE Act's AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which already has lengthy waiting lists. HRC collaborated with allies on Capitol Hill, other HIV/AIDS organizations and health care organizations to support today's vote for the Smith-Bingaman amendment.
"We were proud to be involved in this effort," added Smith. "Senators Smith and Bingaman should be thanked for their leadership in ensuring Medicaid wasn't cut in the budget process, and we hope that leaders in the House will show the same wisdom and compassion."
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