Here's an important message from our friends at AIDs Healthcare Foundation (AHF). IF YOU ARE AVAIALBE OR KNOW OF SOMEONE WHO IS AVAILABLE TO ATTEND THE WORKSHOP IN TALLAHASSEE ON THE 25TH. AHF IS PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION AND FOOD . CONTACT [email protected] for more info.
URGENT: AIDS Funding for Thousands in Florida May Be Cut
Florida's legislature is compelling the state's Department of Health (DOH) to hold workshops on Rule 64D-4. This rule concerns HIV/AIDS patient care services eligibility criteria (Ryan White Part B), among which the income requirement is included. The state is attempting to reduce the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) income requirement from 400% FPL to 200% FPL. This will have a devastating impact on patients as well as care providers. This change will affect programs including the AICP (AIDS Insurance Continuation Program and AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and remove potentially thousands of patients from the program. There is no alternative for these patients other than pharmaceutical Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), which are not sustainable substitutes. The legislature is trying to make a political statement that the ADAP waiting list can be effectively eliminated. Lowering FPL eligibility will not only throw off a massive amount of current ADAP clients, but also significantly reduce the wait list number. Florida would then no longer have the greatest wait list in the country and this action would set a precedent for other states to enact the same measure. We cannot tolerate this backwards attempt to eliminate the wait list and deprive patients of their lifesaving medication.
Just so everyone understands the gravity of this situation, FPL guidelines consider 200% to be $21,780 gross income annually for a household size of 1. We all know how expensive antiretroviral medication is. Innumerable patients would go without medication if this rule change is made.
You may find more information on FPL at http://www.coverageforall.org/pdf/FHCE_FedPovertyLevel.pdf
AHF is leading the effort of advocating for patients and the localities to stop this change from occurring. In this effort, we are inviting all of our partners and agencies involved in HIV/AIDS services so that we present a united front as one community. We need everyone possible to attend the public hearing/workshop and speak up for people with HIV.
Elizabeth "Liza" Nash, RN, MPA, ACRN
Director, Disease Management Operations
AIDS Healthcare Foundation/Positive Healthcare
110 South East 6th Street, Suite 1960
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301