March 28, 2011
On Thursday, a state Senate finance subcommittee approved a budget proposal under which the Texas HIV Medication Program for low-income patients would be unable to afford new clients. However, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), president of the Senate, said later that he expects "lifesaving drugs will be included" in any final budget.
The subcommittee's chair, Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), tasked budget writers with ranking items by three levels of priority, with the first category the most important. The proposal approved would restore $4.5 billion to state-supplied health services. The HIV program was listed as a second-tier priority.
Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) asked the Department of State Health Services commissioner what would happen if HIV/AIDS patients could not access treatment.
03.24.2011; Chris Tomlinson
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