August 6, 2009

August 6, 2009

Ryan White Funding Expires in 8 Weeks!

Tell Your Members of Congress Directly to ACT NOW to Save the Program & Provide Funding Increases.

Members of Congress are heading home for the August recess: seize this opportunity to tell them directly that funding increases and a three year extension of the Ryan White Program addressing community concerns must be top priorities when they return to DC.

The Status of the Extension

Congress has still not taken action to extend the Ryan White Program. Under current law, the program will end on September 30, 2009. House action to extend the program appeared likely in the past two weeks with discussions focused on including the extension in health care reform. Ultimately, however, the Democrats and Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee were not able to reach an agreement for moving forward.

FY2010 Funding Update

Both the House and Senate are moving forward with FY 2010 spending bills with minimal increases and/or flat funding for Ryan White programs. Four components of the program, including Part A and Part F/AETCs, were flat funded by the Senate Appropriations Committee and face the possibility of no increased funding despite the mounting need for services. See attached funding chart for details.

August Recess: Taking the Messages Directly to Your Congressional Delegation

Arrange to meet with both of your Senators and your House member(s) while they are home in August. Highlight the importance of the Ryan White Program in your community and the importance of funding increases and ensuring that the program is not interrupted when the current legislation expires on September 30. Attached are documents outlining key messages and including tips for requesting a meeting and template request letter.

Seek out opportunities to engage your elected officials at public forums. Health care reform will be a hot topic during the recess and your members of Congress likely will be sharing information and soliciting feedback at town hall meetings, speaking engagements, and other public forums. Attend these events and speak out about Ryan White Program. Ask for their public commitment to a three-year extension that addresses the community's concerns. And if you haven't done so already, offer to meet separately to discuss Ryan White extension and FY 2010 funding.

Invite Members of Congress to tour agencies and programs funded by the Ryan White Program. Take advantage of the focus on health care during the recess to urge members to see first hand the impact of the Ryan White Program in the communities they represent. Use the opportunity to get their commitment to a three-year extension and increased funding.

Encourage colleagues, clients, service providers, planning councils, and others in your community who care for the Ryan White Program and are concerned about its future to join you. Together we are stronger!

It's up to us to help make sure financially challenged American men, women and children with HIV and AIDS have a chance at life. Help keep Ryan White Funding alive!

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

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab