California Governor Includes Funding Levels For HIV/AIDS Services

Armen Hareyan's picture

CaliforniaGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Thursday submitted a fiscal year 2008 budgetproposal that includes funding allocations for public health programs,including HIV/AIDS services, the LosAngeles Timesreports (Halper, Los Angeles Times, 1/11).

Schwarzenegger's proposed FY 2008 allocations for all Health and Human Services Agency budgets would total about $78.5 billion incombined state and federal funds -- about $1 billion less than the revised FY2007 budget. Under Schwarzenegger's proposal, the state's Office of AIDS'Treatment and Prevention Program would receive $404.1 million, $165.8 millionof which comes from the state's General Fund. The Office of AIDS administersfunding for HIV/AIDS education, counseling, prevention and testing services,therapeutic monitoring, housing, home- and community-based care, and otherprograms.


Schwarzenegger's budget proposal also would reduce funding for some HIV/AIDS programsby $11 million. The programs include AIDS Education and Prevention, HIVCounseling and Testing, AIDS Epidemiology Studies and Surveillance, and California's AIDS DrugAssistance Program. According to a Schwarzenegger release, these spendinglevels still allow Californiato meet requirements for Ryan White Program funding (Schwarzenegger release,1/10).

AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein saidthat "Californiawill ultimately pay more in health care costs in the long run if it adopts suchill-timed AIDS cuts, and we urge the governor and Legislature to quicklyrestore this public health funding." He added that California could "reduce reimbursementsto drug companies and seriously pursue trying to purchase drugs for ADAP andother state programs at federal pricing levels," which could "resultin a 15% savings to the state" (AHF release, 1/10).

Greg Sass, chief financial officer of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said the budget cuts overall couldcost San Francisco $5 million next year, including "potentiallysignificant" costs if the city decides to pay for antiretrovirals andother medications for Medi-Cal beneficiaries (Fernandez, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/12).

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