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Congresswoman Waters Commemorates World AIDS Day

December 1, 2017
Press Release

Congresswoman Waters Commemorates World AIDS Day

Urges robust funding for HIV/AIDS programs and health coverage for Americans living with HIV/AIDS

WASHINGTON -- Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee and a congressional leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, issued a statement in recognition of World AIDS Day, which is celebrated every year on December 1st.  Her statement follows:

“Today, as we commemorate World AIDS Day 2017, we face unprecedented challenges in our struggle against HIV/AIDS.  Republicans in Congress are debating proposals to slash funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts and take health insurance away from millions of Americans, including those who are living with HIV/AIDS.

“Donald Trump’s proposed budget for 2018 slashes funding for the entire Department of Health and Human Services by $12.6 billion. It cuts funding for the National Institutes of Health by more than $7 billion, and it cuts funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by $1.2 billion.  This would devastate HIV/AIDS prevention, screening, and treatment programs, as well as efforts to find a cure.

“House Republicans passed a despicable budget in September that cut funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative by more than $70 million in fiscal year 2018.  That important program was established under my leadership in 1998 to reduce the significant HIV/AIDS disparities affecting racial and ethnic minorities.  Moreover, the Republicans’ budget provided no funding whatsoever for the Minority AIDS Initiative Secretary’s Fund, an essential part of the initiative.  I submitted an amendment to the House Rules Committee to restore funding for this important program, but the Republican-dominated Rules Committee refused to allow me to offer my amendment.

“Another challenge we face today is the Republicans’ determination to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.  Without Obamacare, insurance companies will once again be able to deny coverage to people living with HIV/AIDS and other pre-existing conditions.  Furthermore, without Obamacare, states like California that expanded Medicaid will not be able to cover low-income adults living with HIV/AIDS.

“Last May, House Republicans passed an Obamacare repeal bill that would cut $800 billion from Medicaid and cause 23 million Americans to lose their health insurance.  While the Senate has, thus far, refused to pass that bill, the Senate is now debating a shameful bill that would cause 13 million Americans to lose their health insurance in order to pay for tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations.

“Americans living with HIV/AIDS deserve better!

“On World AIDS Day 2017, we must confront the challenges we face, and we must resist all attempts to abandon the struggle against this terrible disease.  We must fight to protect Obamacare, and we must fight to stop budget cuts to all of the federal programs serving people affected by HIV/AIDS.  We must expand research, prevention, screening and treatment efforts, and we must fight to make sure all Americans living with HIV/AIDS receive the care and treatment they need and deserve.”