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AIDS Issues Update Blog

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Boehner Reveals Lack of Discussion on Federal Budget—Deal Won’t be Reached Until After Election

Posted by Sunny Bjerk , October 18, 2012

Boehner Reveals Lack of Discussion on Federal Budget—Deal Won’t be Reached Until After Election

Image courtesy of nemzy.com

Over the last few months we have been covering the looming Sequestration cuts and how they could severely and adversely affect people living with HIV/AIDS.

To recap: if a federal budget agreement isn’t reached by January 2, 2013 that saves $1.2 trillion dollars over the next ten years, cuts would automatically take place from a number of programs, including HIV/AIDS services and programs. To summarize:

• $27 million will be cut from HOPWA
• the CDC HIV Prevention program will lose $64 million
• the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program will lose $196 million
• the AIDS Drug Assistance Program will lose $77 million
• the National Institutes of Health AIDS Research will lose $251 million

In total, domestic AIDS research, treatment, services, and assistance will lose an astounding $538 million in funding cuts should the sequestration go through.

Strangely, while the threat of these Sequestration cuts continue to loom—and loom large for the 1.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the country—there has been little talk about revisiting the federal budget during the Presidential campaigning. In fact, House Speaker John Boehner told his colleagues that he and the President haven’t spoken about the budget in four months.

This staunch silence and lack of concern about the stalled budget suggests that the House is not prioritizing reaching a deal until the Presidential election is decided and won’t be broaching the topic in the interim.

This cool, lack of concern about the federal budget parallels the same dismissal HIV/AIDS issues have received in the Presidential campaigning season thus far. Throughout the first and second Presidential debates, as well as their extensive campaigning, neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney have addressed HIV/AIDS issues, though President Obama’s reformed healthcare plans, especially Medicaid, would do a world of good for those living with the disease.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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