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October 22, 2009

Ryan White Reauthorization Bill Passes House and Senate

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on October 21 that will reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act through 2013, The New York Times reports. The Senate has unanimously passed the bill, so the legislation now awaits the signature of President Barack Obama, who has already shown support.

According to the article, the bill passed the House with a vote of 408 to 9. Once signed into law, it will allocate $2.55 billion to programs servicing low-income or uninsured HIV-positive Americans in 2010. That amount will increase to $2.95 billion by the 2013 fiscal year.

The bill requires that states implement a name-based reporting system by the 2013 fiscal year; it will allow states to submit code-based data until then, but they will be penalized for doing so. The bill also includes a so-called “hold harmless” stipulation, which protects regions from funding decreases if they experience relative drops in HIV/AIDS caseloads.

“We all had to compromise,” said Representative Henry Waxman (D–California). “This doesn’t contain all the provisions I wanted to see, but it’s a good solid bill.”

Joe Barton (R–Texas) also praised the legislation, saying in a statement that he was “proud to be an original cosponsor of this reauthorization bill” and that he is “glad that we were able to come to agreement on this important legislation.”

While the last reauthorization—signed into law in 2006—was scheduled to expire September 30, the deadline was extended to the end of October.

Search: House of Representatives, Senate, Ryan White, reauthorization, Barack Obama, Henry Waxman

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