November 4, 2010

November 4, 2010
Election Results


Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Thursday and I hope you are having a safe and great week so far.

Last night, I was watching as the election results came in around the country. Many of the Democratic seats have been replaced by Republicans. So it will be interesting to see what the next two year brings to our country. I think a lot of people forget how bad things were when we had our last election and voted their frustrations. But was it the right vote? Only time will tell us.

With the AIDS Drug Assistance Programís (ADAP), according to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) waiting list at 4157, what do we do? Remember, thatís 4157 after the additional $25 million from Health and Human Services.

With new leadership in the House that wants to cut discretionary spending, repeal Health Care Reform, and/or block any legislation put forward by the President, what do we do?

With our need to fund ADAP and the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) in this environment, what do we do?

Is it time to take to the streets? Do we hire more lobbyists? Ask our friends in ďindustryĒ to use their lobbyists. Set up an AIDS PAC (Political Action Committee). Organize at the city and state levels. Do nothing. (This is not a comprehensive list, its just for illustrative purposes.)

I have no idea. And that scares me.

Three (3) Budget Scenarios To Consider

If HIV/AIDS Funding Goes Down:

* ADAP lists go UP
* New HIV Infections go UP
* No NHAS
* More community based organizations (CBOs) close
* Fewer CBOs means fewer services
* Longer lag times for People with AIDS (PWAs) to get enrolled In Medicaid
* Smaller city and county governments will pass the burden of HIV to the state
* More state funding will be needed to cover medications
* More people on patient assistance programs
* More homeless PWAs
* Higher death rate

If HIV/AIDS Funding Stays Flat:

* ADAP lists will still go UP because more people are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS every year
* New HIV Infections will go UP. Without additional funds it will be hard to change the course of the epidemic
* We will try to implement the NHAS
* CBOs will close, just not as many
* Fewer CBOs means fewer services
* Longer lag times for PWAs to get enrolled In Medicaid
* Smaller city and county governments will pass the burden of HIV to the state
* More state funding will be needed to cover medications
* More people on patient assistance programs
* More homeless PWAs
* Higher death rate, just not as high as above


If HIV/AIDS Funding Goes UP:

* The results will depend on the amount of additional dollars
* ADAP list will stay flat and hopefully begin to decrease
* Fewer new infections; however, we will still have new infections
* Implement the NHAS
* CBOs will close, but it will be for other reasons
* Medicaid rolls will increase
* More city, county and/or state funding to support HIV prevention efforts
* Fewer people on patient assistance programs, so companies can give larger donations to CBOs
* Homes for PWAs
* Death rates will drop.
* Hopefully, we will find a vaccine and a cure

These lists are not comprehensive, I wanted to give a flavor of things that might happen. Two scenarios should scare you.

Next Steps

* We need the lame duck Congress to pass the Presidentís 2011 budget. A Continuing Resolution (CR) will mean a decrease in HIV/AIDS funding. Even with additional funds in FY11 budget, it is not enough to solve the ADAP crisis.

* We need Congress to request a Professional Judgment Budget (PJ) on the cost to implement the NHAS. Without this number, its hard to estimate out how much money is needed.

* We need to prioritize an ADAP solution. What good is the NHAS if our waiting lists continue to grow? What good is PREP if we have HIV positive individuals who canít get medications?

* Finally, we need you.

It is going to take everyone. We need protests, lobbyists and compromise. We are not going to agree on one solution, that is what I love about our movement. Our solutions have to be big enough to honor the diversity, complexity and the history of our work.

What do we do? We fight!

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

big bear hug,





Daddy Dab