October 22, 2009
The US House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 408-9 in favor of reauthorizing the Ryan White Care Act. The bill, which the Senate had already passed by unanimous consent, now moves to the desk of President Obama, whose administration has signaled strong support for it.
Congress last reauthorized the act in 2006. It had been set to expire on Sept. 30, 2009, but was extended for one month.
Similar in its provisions to the 2006 renewal, the new four-year reauthorization provides $2.55 billion for fiscal year 2010 and increases funding to $2.95 billion by FY 2013. The act requires states to convert to name-based HIV case reporting by FY 2013; however, it allows them, at a penalty, to continue submitting code-based data until that time.
In contrast to 2006, when the reauthorization debate was marked by quarrels over allocations between lawmakers from large urban areas and those from rural locations, the latest renewal was the product of negotiation by members of both parties in both houses.
"We all had to compromise," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "This bill doesn't contain all the provisions I wanted to see, but it's a good solid bill."
Administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Ryan White Act funds HIV-related assistance to about 500,000 lower-income people each year.
New York Times
10.21.2009; Bernie Becker