I stopped reading about Obama’s grand new HIV/AIDS plan as soon as I saw the price tag: $30 million. That’s … it?
There’s two dollar figures here. The first is $27.2 billion, or how much the administration will spend in fiscal 2011 on HIV/AIDS at home and around the globe. That is a lot of money! But the second number is $30 million, or how much new cash Obama found in the health care bill that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services could divide up among state and federal agencies under his new National AIDS Strategy.
Thirty million bucks to cut the number of new HIV cases by 25 percent and get medications to 85 percent of patients in need within three months of diagnosis. You don’t need the Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition or the AIDS Healthcare Foundation or Housing Works to understand that math. You need a calculator and a pipe dream.