July 29, 2011

July 29, 2011
Debt Ceiling Standoff Continues

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and we have almost made it through another work week. I hope you have been having a safe and great one so far. It has been a very busy one for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have heard something about what is going on in Washington, DC with our elected officials trying to balance the national budget.

Washington, DC continues to be embroiled in a heated debate around raising the national debt ceiling, which has brought Congress and the nation’s capital to a standstill. According to the Treasury Department the federal government will run out of money on August 2 if an agreement to raise the ceiling is not reached. For months, Congress and the White House have been negotiating a deficit reduction package in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. With less than a week to go, Congressional Republicans and Democrats, along with President Obama continue to clash over issues such as generating revenue and reducing spending.

President Obama and his allies in Congress are calling for a balanced deficit reduction plan that would include some increases in taxes (mostly by closing loopholes for corporations and the nation’s top earners). Congressional Republicans, led by Tea Party freshman, will not accept any deal that includes increased revenue, whether through tax increases or closing loopholes. Indeed, many so called Tea Party members oppose raising the debt ceiling period.

It is possible that a deal to raise the ceiling may include cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, which the President said he was willing to consider. As both Medicare and Medicaid are major providers of care for people living with HIV/AIDS, any cuts to these programs could have a devastating impact on the community and HIV/AIDS services, including Ryan White and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. At the same time, default itself – which would occur if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling – could also have serious consequences for people living with HIV/AIDS. The government would have to make tough decisions between competing priorities like whether to pay social security beneficiaries or our military. It is quite possible that funds for Ryan White, Medicare and Medicaid services would also be affected by this shortage in funds.

Dab the AIDS Bear and I closely monitoring the debt ceiling negotiations and will continue to update its constituents on any important developments.

So stay tuned for future update and if you have not already called your elected officials in Washington, DC to voice your objection to social security, Medicare and Medicaid being cute; please do so as soon as possible. The lives of millions of American men and women are counting on you to use your voice.

Hope you have a great Friday!

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

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab