April 9, 2010

April 9, 2010
Eliminating ADAP Waiting Lists


Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and we have made it through another work week for most of us. It is a hot, sunny and humid day here in south Florida. We are starting to get to the time of year where we start paying for the milder winters we have by enduring the heat and humidity of several months.

I started off my day by walking the dogs before I had my first conference call at 11am on health care reform issues. Then I had another conference call at 2pm with Jeff Crowley from the Office of National AIDS Policy in Washington DC. We were discussing the report generated from all the town halls the White House conducted on national HIV/AIDS care for six months through this past January. Of course, you know I had to bring up the 770 American men and women on ADAP waiting lists. I would like to thank Jeff and his staff again for all their hard work. I personally would not want his job or the responsibilities that come with it.

You can read the latest report on national HIV/AIDS care at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ONAP_rpt.pdf

Speaking of the ADAP Waiting Lists, I would like to once again ask President Obama to immediately increase funding.

With four years until federal health care reform fully kicks in, there are still thousands of Americans with HIV/AIDS reliant on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program as a much needed safety net. But with states in budget crisis, that safety net has once again broken down.

Tell Obama He Has the Power to Eliminate ADAP Waiting Lists!

PWAs should not have to wait on line for meds!

With four years until federal health care reform fully kicks in, there are still thousands of Americans with HIV/AIDS reliant on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program as a much needed safety net. But with states in budget crisis, that safety net has once again broken down.

Advocates are calling on President Obama to bail out the 722 people currently on waiting lists for medication by approving an emergency $126 million this year.

ADAPs provide life saving medications under the Ryan White CARE Act to people living with HIV/AIDS nationwide, who are uninsured or under insured. This vital federal state program faces a $126 million shortfall for Fiscal Year 2010, just to keep pace with current demand. That shortfall is currently fueling the growth of these waiting lists, now nearing 800 Americans, including 16 people in Arkansas, 21 people in Idaho, 59 people in Iowa, 183 people in Kentucky, 17 people in Montana, 270 people in North Carolina, 15 people in South Carolina, 26 people in South Dakota, 86 people in Tennessee, 71 people in Utah and 13 people in Wyoming (as of March 26, according to the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors).

In addition, numerous states have imposed cost-cutting measures, such as limiting the number of drugs patients can have.

If the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA) had been included in health care reform, many of these people would have been covered by Medicaid. ETHA would allow states to cover people with HIV to be covered by Medicaid before they get sick. It was included in the original House bill as a temporary measure until health care reformís provisions kick in. And even without ETHA, by 2014 many more people with HIV/AIDS will be covered by Medicaid, leaving Ryan White to be truly the payer of last resort like it was envisioned.

But we have to deal with reality as it is right now. So tell Obama and Congress to approve $126 million in FY10 Supplemental Funds to end the ADAP wait lists! Send a message to President Obama, and contact your reps and tell them to approve funding for ADAP. If you are personally affected by the ADAP crisis, make sure to share that.

Thanks for your help. We can make a difference but it takes you making some calls and writing some emails. So please join Dab the AIDS Bear and I in urging President Obama to help American men and women on ADAP waiting lists.

I hope you have a safe and great weekend. Remember life is not a dress rehearsal so get out there and do something special for yourself and make a special memory.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.



big bear hug,





Daddy Dab