CHN: Ryan White AIDS Program Reauthorized
In the final hours of the 109th Congress both houses passed the Ryan White Treatment Modernization Act of 2006, H.R. 6143. This program, providing $2.1 billion annually, is the federal government’s largest program for helping states and cities provide medical treatment and support services to uninsured and low-income people with HIV and AIDS.
First passed in 1990, efforts to reauthorize the law, which expired in September 2005, have stalled mainly over how the funds should be distributed. Currently the funding formula favors states with urban areas and a longer history of AIDS infections over states where the disease is now spreading most rapidly. The bill is a three-year rather than a five-year reauthorization so that formula adjustments can be made sooner.
AIDS funding is linked to the number of people who test positive for HIV. The legislation provides time for states to switch to a new system of counting these individuals.
During the three-year authorization period no states or cities will receive funding at less than 95 percent of what they received in 2006.