A Letter to the President about ADAP
Welcome to another day of my life. Today is Monday and I hope your week is off to a safe and great start after having a fantastic weekend.
I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon today to make sure everything is healing from my recent surgery. From what he said I am right on schedule. It will just take a few more weeks of healing before I am back to normal. Well as normal as I can get whether that means. LOL
But what I would like to talk about today is not a laughing matter. As you know if you regularly read my blog, I talk a lot about ADAP waiting lists where Americans can not get access to life saving HIV medications. The following is a letter to President Obama. If you would like to sign onto the letter, email Ryan Clary, firstname.lastname@example.org, with name of organization, city/state, and contact person. Deadline: Noon Eastern, Friday, March 12th.
Dear President Obama:
The undersigned organizations urge you to support an emergency Fiscal Year 2010 supplemental appropriation of $126 million for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). This emergency funding would allow states to provide lifesaving medications to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS for the remainder of the fiscal year.
ADAPs are the safety net under other public programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Almost 75% of ADAP clients earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level and 65% are people of color. The program is a lifeline for 166,000 people who would otherwise have no other way to access treatment. However, many state ADAPs are on the brink of the worst funding shortfall in many years, and there is a record number of people in need of ADAP services due to the economic downturn. Over 500 people in 11 states are on waiting lists for the program, and two states have been forced to remove people from their ADAP after reducing financial eligibility. Other states have been forced to remove vital drugs from their ADAP formulary. Many other states are reporting they will be unable to serve new individuals seeking ADAP services throughout the rest of the fiscal year.
We greatly appreciate the $20 million increase for ADAP in the FY 2010 appropriations bill, and the proposed $20 million increase in your FY 2011 budget. However, these increases fall far short of what is needed to make sure that states can provide access to medications to those in need.
As you continue to demonstrate great leadership in reforming the nationís health care system to expand access to all Americans, it is vital that current safety net programs be protected. People with HIV are depending on you to make sure they have the treatment needed to stay alive, healthy, and productive. Please do everything you can to ensure that ADAP receives emergency fiscal relief.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope and happiness.
big bear hug,