'Today's passage is a critical step in securing that a lifeline for many Americans remains intact,' said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate passed today, by unanimous consent, a compromise version to reauthorize funding for the Ryan White CARE Act. The program, since 1990, has provided critical care and treatment to low-income Americans living with HIV and AIDS.
"Today's passage is a critical step in securing that a lifeline for many Americans remains intact," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "It is encouraging that Congress was able to find a compromise on this bill and we look forward to securing House passage before the 109th Congress adjourns. We salute the dedicated work of Senators Kennedy and Enzi, as well as Representatives Dingell and Barton, in finding a workable solution to ensure low-income Americans living with HIV and AIDS continue to receive critical health care services."
HRC remains deeply concerned about the inadequate funding levels the Ryan White CARE Act has received in recent years. This lack of funding led to significant difficulties in directing new funds to emerging communities in dire need without subsequent losses for urban areas with a large concentration of people living with HIV and AIDS. HRC is pleased that the compromise legislation includes measures to protect areas that have long been the epicenters of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
"As we move forward with a new congressional leadership, it is important that Congress increase funding for the CARE Act so that all Americans living with HIV/AIDS, no matter where they live, have access to life-saving medical care and supportive services," added Solmonese.
Due to the active involvement of the Human Rights Campaign throughout the entire process of reauthorization consideration, the bill continues to be free of any anti-gay or anti-HIV discriminatory provisions. The reauthorization and full funding of the Ryan White CARE Act continue to be a top legislative priority for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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