For decades, the Ryan White program has been a lifeline to millions of individuals living with HIV in America through its provision of medical care, prescription drug assistance, and supplementary programs to support improved health and overall quality of life. While all components of the Ryan White program are of immense value, Part D has been of particular importance as it serves some of the most vulnerable populations living with and/or affected by HIV--women, infants, children, youth, teens, and their families/caregivers.
That is why it is appalling that this vital program is being eliminated. The President's 2015 fiscal year budget proposes consolidating the entire Part D program into the Part C program. There have been no guarantees made that all of the communities currently served by Ryan White Part D will survive this consolidation, which puts innumerable families across the country at risk. Lip service has been paid to the importance of those served by the program, but that has been eclipsed by actions which indicate that saving money is a greater priority.
It is simply NOT acceptable to place HIV+ and affected individuals and families on the "chopping block" to save a buck. We deserve better!
We demand assurance that ALL currently funded eligible Part D funded entities will be given priority as they apply for Part C funding.
We demand that all of them will be retained and that funding levels be restored or increased during and after this "consolidation."
And we demand concrete and credible reassurance that the needs of the Part D population (maternal/pediatric/youth/young adult population and their families/caretakers) will remain a high level priority, as evidenced by securing the future existence and funding of programs serving these communities.
We deserve nothing less. And we will accept nothing less.
Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu, Advocacy Without Borders
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