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HRSA Seeks Public Input on Ryan White Reauthorization

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Ronald Valdiserri

Dr. Ronald Valdiserri

As part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) efforts to plan for the 2013 reauthorization of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has launched a number of activities to collect ideas from stakeholders that will inform our policy deliberations.

The Ryan White Program is the largest Federal program specifically dedicated to providing HIV care and treatment. It funds heavily impacted metropolitan areas, states, and local community-based organizations to provide life-saving medical care, medications, and support services to more than half a million people each year—including the uninsured and underinsured, racial and ethnic minorities, and people of all ages. Currently authorized by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009, the program will be up for reauthorization by the U.S. Congress in 2013.

Among the issues being discussed within HHS is the question of what the Ryan White program should look like in an environment of a health care system reformed by implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In light of the expansion of health insurance coverage that implementation of the ACA will bring, the Ryan White Program will certainly evolve. But as my colleague Dr. Deborah Parham Hopson, HRSA’s Associate Administrator for the HIV/AIDS Bureau, has noted, though the reauthorized Ryan White Program may ultimately look different, it will still serve as an important “safety net” for vulnerable populations living with HIV/AIDS.

Stakeholder Comments Sought
In a Federal Register Notice dated April 25, 2012, Dr. Mary K. Wakefield, Administrator of HRSA, invited comments from stakeholders about reauthorization of the Ryan White Program. HRSA encourages stakeholders, including grantees, advocacy organizations, State and local administrators, and other members of the Ryan White and HIV/AIDS communities to provide comments on all aspects of the program. Submit written comments online by July 31.

Listening Sessions Planned
HRSA has also announced that it will hold at least four webinar or teleconference listening sessions over the next few months to collect stakeholder input on Ryan White Program reauthorization issues. Each will focus on a different geographic region. Dates, times and other details will be published on HRSA’s Ryan White Reauthorization web page as they become available. [UPDATE: The Listening Sessions occurred in July 2012]

The services offered through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program continue to be an essential component of our efforts to reach the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. We look forward to working with our colleagues at HRSA and stakeholders from across the nation to consider how the program can most effectively be adapted in light of evolving needs, priorities and policies.  I encourage you to share your thoughts on reauthorization via the forums that HRSA is making available.

Comments

  1. J says:

    I’m both a case manager for people living with HIV and HIV positive myself. From personal and professional experience, I know that Ryan White funding has tremendously helped myself, my clients, and many others who are HIV positive. From State ADAP programs to social support and mental health counseling, Ryan White has had a major impact in my life and the lives of many others. It is with great magnitude that I respectfully request that Ryan White continue even through the first few years of the Affordable Care Act in order to faciliate any gaps in services. To my knowledge, the ACA will mostly benefit those who are below 135% FPL. What happens to those between 135% and 300% who still are not able to afford their health insurance premiums and medication/office visit copays themselves. I’m asking that you please extend the Ryan White program after 2013 and and until another option is created that helsp serve this population. Thank you.

  2. Brooker Terry says:

    The reform will help with medical coverage but with the government getting more involved with the care; I believe that they are not taking a look at the whole picture of the person. The basic struggle with daily life and the need to be able to be secure in the fact that there are still programs to help with minor set backs (in their eyes it is major, ie. loss of electric)will give a sense that life can be handled with a strong support system. The non-profits that assist persons with HIV/AIDS are needed for that purpose and should not lose funding because of the government involvement.

  3. As a person that AIDS lives with daily and a person that has used Ryan White services to get me back on my feet, was a God send… I feel the time has come to better educate and imform consumers of health prevention and HIV prevention and stop the big salaries of adminastrator really look at what Ryan White services and see who has the biggest HIV population that is out of care and late to care. This may be telling you something. The need it for housing and health education and people making a career out of HIV/AIDS Ryan White services. People working in the HIV community, “should be working their way out of a job” and working for a CURE! Also Prevention and care should have been working together 20 yreas ago… Every HIV service provider and state and local health departments should be working together and sharing data and be on the same page… This would help with better care and prevention outcomes… carand prevcentio

  4. Helen Goldenberg says:

    COMMENT: Tell Congress to reauthorize Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act in 2013

    I Helen Turner Goldenberg am a 28 year AIDS survivor, HIV AIDS Advocate/Activist, Peer Educator, Co-founder of Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church’s AIDS Ministry (Christians Joined At The Heart Against AIDS), member of Ryan White Planning Council of the Dallas Area and it’s Consumer Council Committee; Also member C2EA (Campaign to End AIDS), Resource Center Dallas Co- Facilitator of At The Kitchen Table (ATKT) support group, National Association for People with AIDS (NAPWA), Afiya Center HIV Prevention & Sexual Reproductive Justice, President of Joint Activities Committee at AIDS Services of Dallas (ASD)…

    Based on all these Hats, I say, tell congress to reauthorize the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act in 2013. In light of the expansion of health insurance coverage that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will bring, Ryan White should certainly evolve; the program may look different but it will still serve as an important “Safety Net” for vulnerable populations living with HIV/AIDS in covering gaps. Even in 2014 and after, there will be a great need for working together (Ryan White and Health Care Reform)as it relates to people living with HIV AIDS: specifically Ryan White will fill in gaps not covered by Medicaid or Private Insurance (for very low income persons, below $15,000 (138% FPL) and those with Private Insurance with income between $15,000 & $44,000 (138% to 400% FPL). Additionally Ryan White will provide a safety net for legal immigrants not eligible for Medicaid (5yr ban) and undocumented immigrants. I can further envision that the Ryan White Program will fit into the new health care paradigm with ongoing working group meetings to review needs, begin development of community agreement/position, ALL in an effort to continually provide a seamless, flexible, and efficient healthcare system dedicated to the wellness and empowerment of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

    Let us remember the following:

    “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

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