To accommodate the growing number of AIDS patients and the increase in medical treatment, the congress need to increase the funding for ADAP. In line with this, the House of Representative Labor-HHS appropriation subcommittee, despite the resistance of White House, has proposed $132 million dollar increase in ADAP funding (Carbaugh & Kates, 2007). The increase will cover doctor fees, medical treatment and drugs for poor people who cannot afford the costly treatment of AIDS. However, a Senate Subcommittee only approved a $50 million increase in the funding, thus resulting in arguments over law makers (Carbaugh & Kates, 2007).
This argument, if not settled quickly could turn into something big that could threaten the unity between law makers and AIDS organizations considered as a necessary tool if the U. S. government is to improve the survivability of AIDS patients and hamper the growth rate of AIDS. One possible reason for this argument is that most AIDS supporters and political organizations have unfortunately sided with one political party, the Democrats. Since the Republicans have gained the upper hand in both houses of the congress and in the Senate, support is hard to come by.
This scenario could hamper the effectiveness of AIDS work in Congress and in the Senate since the AIDS community in Washington receive little acknowledgement and there are few representatives of AIDS organizations in the Republican side (Federal AIDS Policy Issues Today, 2007). To bridge the gap between these two major political parties, AIDS organizations rely heavily on the ADAP working group and Log Cabin Republicans, a sub group within the Republicans which focuses on gay issues (Federal AIDS Policy Issues Today, 2007). The ADAP Working Group is a coalition of AIDS community organizations and pharmaceutical companies.
This group has worked well for years and was successful enough in trying to persuade law makers and the White House in increasing ADAP funding. Furthermore, this ADAP Working Group is considered as a non-partisan organization thus making it much easier for them to appeal for support from either the Republicans or Democrats. With the help of the Log Cabin Republicans, these two were effective in rallying for the support of Republicans in congress. The result was that, the Republican controlled congress has been much more helpful in ADAP funding than the Democratic Administration (Federal AIDS Policy Issues Today, 2007).
Educating the Public about Issues Concerning AIDS In the midst of budget shortfalls and political arguments about ADAP funding, several States have imposed restrictions in order to adjust their ADAP programs with the on going problems (Policy Issues, n. d. ). As of now, there are only three states (California, New York and North California) that cover all FDA-approved HIV drugs for everyone who needs them. No matter how frustrated the AIDS patient would be, they are only left one option and that is to wait for possible treatment.
In response to these problems, the ADAP Working Group and analysts have proposed that States should not rely entirely on ADAP or the Federal Funding and that they should contribute their own money for the betterment of the program. The increase in funding would cover additional patients and better medical treatment would be available for the public (Carbaugh & Kates, 2007). The ADAP Working Group has contributed greatly in the past years in trying to improve the ADAP program and other assistance programs dedicated in combating not only AIDS but also HIV.
They were successful enough in the past years in trying to increase ADAP funding and since there were pharmaceutical companies actively working side by side with ADAP Working Group, drugs and antiretroviral needed to treat AIDS and HIV patients, was made available for patients (Federal AIDS Policy Issues Today, 2007). Furthermore, the ADAP Working Group was able rally support from different sectors of society about issues concerning AIDS and individuals who are suffering from this disease.
Unity is a necessary tool in trying to improve treatment access and health conditions for those people who are suffering AIDS. Cooperation between Political and Interest Groups In regard with the political arguments between law makers, as mentioned, the Republican-controlled congress made it hard for AIDS organizations to rally support not only for ADAP but also with other AIDS assistance programs. Since AIDS organizations were known to be affiliated with the Democrats, support was critical if AIDS organization wanted to amend ADAP or increase its funding for the years to come.
To organize Republican support, the ADAP Working Group, which is considered as non-partisan, had to work side by side with the Log Cabin Republicans in order draw out necessary help in Congress. Furthermore, there are also other AIDS organizations that helped in closing the gap between the Republicans and Democrats. The result is that AIDS funding became better and Republicans have worked collaboratively in improving not only the ADAP program but also other AIDS assistance programs (Federal AIDS Policy Issues Today, 2007). Conclusion HIV and AIDS continue to evolve just like anything else in this world.
It was shown that if left unchecked, it could cause tremendous damage to the people who are afflicted by it. In assessing the experience that the U. S. has with HIV and AIDS, it took a collective effort in trying to come up with possible solutions in stopping the spread and growth of the virus as well as trying to help those people who were already infected with it. The AIDS Drug Assistance Program or ADAP was the product of these collective actions. Through this AIDS policy, many people were given hope and the chance to continue living normally.
However, in the previous years, budget shortfalls and political bickering have made the program unbeneficial for some patients. Coming up with solutions to remedy this problem, analysts have concluded that unity must exist among organizations, law makers and the public as well. If states would contribute their own money, budget shortfalls could be overcome and the program would be improved. Unity between lawmakers would provide a deeper understanding about the problems and issues that the public has to face concerning AIDS. References
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program: Following the Epidemic: Past, Present, and Future. Retrieved June 19, 2008 from AidsAction from http://www. aidsaction. org/legislation/rwca/adap/pdf/adap_policybrief_2005. pdf Federal AIDS Policy Issues Today. Retrieved on June 19, 2008 from http://www. aids. org/atn/a-276-03. html Carbaugh, A. & Kates, J. (2007). National ADAP Monitoring Project Annual Report. Retrieved June 19, 2008 from http://www. kff. org/hivaids/upload/7619. pdf Policy Issues. Retrieved on June 19, 2008 from http://www. apla. org/policy/issues. html