For Immediate Release November 14, 2013
Contact: Carl Schmid (202) 835-8373
The AIDS Institute Leads Successful Capitol Hill Visits
Growing Number of Voices Urge Congress to Fully Fund Ryan White Program
Washington, D.C. – The AIDS Institute (TAI) Board, Executive Director and staff concluded two days of successful Capitol Hill visits that brought increased awareness and support for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. At a time when federal funding has been reduced through sequestration, it is critical that Congressional leaders support the necessary funding to ensure that patients continue to receive the specialized and life-saving care they need.
“Our Board members brought a strong message to Congressional leaders on behalf of Americans living with HIV/AIDS,” said Marylin Merida, Board President. “We need the Ryan White Program to continue to ensure that individuals living with HIV/AIDS have not only access to health care and medications but the coverage completion services that are needed to ensure patients remain healthy. This is so important because the Ryan White Program is the only Program in the country that offers the continuum of care received by individuals living with HIV/AIDS.”
The Ryan White Program complements the important health care components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, it is important to understand that the Ryan White Program delivers life-saving and highly specialized care to more than 500,000 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. every year that must continue into the future.
TAI’s Deputy Executive Director Carl Schmid added, “It is imperative to share with members of Congress that the Ryan White Program has enjoyed broad bipartisan support since its inception. It has been reauthorized and signed into law by both Democratic and Republican presidents and passed Congress with overwhelming support in both chambers for over two decades. It is so critical that the Ryan White Program be fully maintained and fully funded because it is the payer of last resort for individuals who have no alternative to receive the life-saving care and services they need to maintain and improve their health.
A longtime and bipartisan supported program, the Ryan White Program is the most important federal program designed specifically for people living with HIV in the United States.
With more than 500,000 people with HIV receiving care and treatment, it continues to play a critical role in the delivery of life-saving care.
For close to 25 years, the life and legacy of Ryan White has touched millions of people who have been affected by the disease and who receive the comprehensive and integrated care they need.