HIV/AIDS cuts in Trump bud­get called ‘shock­ing,’ ‘cruel’

CDC, NIH, Med­i­caid fund­ing would be slashed; HIV/AIDS groups vow to fight

GA Voice - - Nationalnews -

By CHRIS JOHN­SON, WASH­ING­TON BLADE

AIDS. It harkens back to the years of in­ac­tion un­der the Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion that fu­eled the growth of the AIDS epi­demic – an epi­demic that has been far too costly in Amer­i­can lives and tax­payer dol­lars.”

‘We’re go­ing to fight it’

De­fend­ing the bud­get pro­posal at the White House af­ter it was un­veiled, Di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of Man­age­ment & Bud­get Mick Mul­vaney said the re­quest is a “tax­payer-first bud­get” be­cause it takes into ac­count the ef­fec­tive­ness of gov­ern­ment pro­grams.

“Com­pas­sion needs to be on both sides of that equa­tion,” Mul­vaney said. “Yes, you have to have com­pas­sion for folks who are re­ceiv­ing the fed­eral funds, but also you have to have com­pas­sion for the folks who are pay­ing it. And that is one of the things that is new about this pres­i­dent’s bud­get.”

Mul­vaney also down­played the cuts to Med­i­caid, say­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pro­pos­als would re­turn author­ity to the states and wouldn’t be as steep as es­ti­mated.

“There are no Med­i­caid cuts in terms of what or­di­nary hu­man be­ings would re­fer to as a cut,” Mul­vaney said. “We are not spend­ing less money one year than we spent be­fore. What we are do­ing is grow­ing Med­i­caid more slowly over the 10-year bud­get win­dow than the Con­gres­sional Bud­get Of­fice says that we should or says that we will un­der cur­rent law.”

It re­mains to be seen whether Congress — which has ul­ti­mate author­ity over the purse — will agree to the cuts, al­though with both cham­bers un­der Repub­li­can con­trol and seek­ing to re­duce fed­eral gov­ern­ment, that seems likely.

Sch­mid said HIV/AIDS ad­vo­cates are bring­ing the fights against the cuts to Capi­tol Hill, hop­ing the his­toric bi­par­ti­san sup­port for HIV/ AIDS fund­ing would re­store at least some funds.

“Ryan White and ev­ery­thing is bi­par­ti­san and there’s more and more peo­ple in pro­gram than be­fore,” Sch­mid said. “So, we’re go­ing to fight it. I think we have a re­cep­tive au­di­ence on the Hill, but he is the pres­i­dent, and the way they deal, it seems they go big and then they get some­thing, so we are con­cerned that NIH will be cut. We are con­cerned in the end, that CDC HIV pre­ven­tion will be cut. We are con­cerned in the end that Ryan White could pos­si­bly see cuts, but we’re go­ing to fight that.”

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