AIDS Prevention Axed From Stimulus Bill

Stimulus Package VermontA $400 million provision that would have gone to HIV/ AIDS prevention programs was dropped from the Senate version of the economic stimulus package last Friday in an effort to appease Republicans. AIDS groups say that their programs can boost the economy, while Republican sentiment is that the funding ought to be elsewhere, if existing at all.

The Washington Blade reports:

“Many of the Republicans are griping about the STD and AIDS funds being in the bill but not about the rest of this public health fund,” said Carl Schmid, director of federal affairs for the AIDS Institute, another national advocacy group.

“We support the fund, including the HIV part of it,” Schmid said. “We feel prevention is cost effective and saves money in the long run.”

He and Johnson said their respective groups also believe that including HIV and STD prevention funds in the president’s economic stimulus package can be justified as a legitimate economic stimulus provision because the funding would result in more health care related jobs.

“Health care is the largest single component of the gross national product of the nation,” Johnson said. “The economic impact of health-related activities, including HIV-related activity, is very substantial.”

Republican and conservative critics of the president’s stimulus plan have taken strong exception to that assessment. Some have said the plan was rapidly evolving into a “Christmas tree” bill, with liberal Democrats pressuring Obama to add many of their pet projects that the Bush administration had blocked over the past eight years.”

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  • ksu499

    Makes sense. Putting monies for AIDS prevention, reseeding the National Mall, family planning clinics, repairs to the Tidal Basin, a National Endowment for the Arts funding increase and a subsidy to assist Hollywood production companies in buying film into an economic stimulus package strain credulity. Each of these items may be a good idea, but their effectiveness in jump starting the economy is questionable at best and they only give opponents of doing much of anything ammunition. The Dems need to quit ladling the pork in and stick to the subject at hand. Increased AIDS prevention funding is probably a good idea, but it needs to be considered on it own merits and not hidden away (and not hidden very effectively) in a bill that is supposed to get the US economy running again.

  • Matt

    I agree with KSU499. Prevention needs to be funded but on it’s on merits. AIDs prevention will not jump start an economy.

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