Michael Emanuel Rajner

Death Toll Climbs as Congress fails to Act Swiftly on Ryan White

Filed By Michael Emanuel Rajner | September 17, 2009 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: CAEAR Coalition, Frank Lautenberg, HIV/AIDS, Ryan White CARE Act

Moments ago I learned the life of a second friend has been claimed to AIDS-related complications, all within 1 week. Both individuals served valiantly in this fight.

In the absence of any meaning healthcare reform, we must mobilize our communities to demand action from Congress. No more speeches, it's time for action.

Call your United States Senator and urge them to take action and sign Senator Lautenberg's letter for a 3-year extension of Ryan White before it expires on September 30, 2009. Without this program being extended how many more of us will die?

To look up contact information for your Senator, visit: www.votesmart.org

Go to the JUMP for more information on Senator Lautenberg's letter


FROM THE CAEAR COALITION


Dear colleagues:

Today is the last full day for Senators to sign the Senate "dear colleague" letter supporting Ryan White extension. As of this morning, only eight Senators have joined Sen. Lautenberg in signing the letter (list below). As you can see, many Senators from states with significant interests in the Ryan White Program are not on. Please follow up with your senators today to urge them to sign on. Senate offices can be reached through the Capitol switchboard 202-224-3121.

With a Senate markup possible next week, it is paramount that this letter receives as many signatures as possible to demonstrate support for the three-year extension and the community consensus. Please share this alert broadly with your networks.

The deadline to sign on is tomorrow, Friday, September 18, at 10:00am ET. Senate offices that wish to sign on should contact Apryl Clark in Sen. Lautenberg's office, 202-224-3224 or apryl_clark@lautenberg.senate.gov.

Please note that only Senators can sign this letter. Ryan White Program advocates should contact their own Senators and urge them to sign on. Advocates should not contact Sen. Lautenberg's office directly.

CAEAR Coalition is maintaining a list of those who have signed on at http://www.caear.org/coalition/reauthor3.html

Please contact us if you have questions or need anything else from our end to make these requests, 202-789-3565 or info@caear.org


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September 18, 2009

Dear Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi:

We write to urge swift action on a three-year extension of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act that reflects the unified recommendations of more than 323 HIV/AIDS organizations. This lifesaving law funds an array of innovative and effective services that form the health care safety net for uninsured and underinsured Americans living with HIV/AIDS. We need to act to extend this landmark legislation before it expires on September 30, 2009, to ensure that vital services are available to people who desperately need them.

Americans living with HIV/AIDS and those who care for them will be best served by a Ryan White Program that is extended for three years and is amended to include the consensus recommendations of those on the frontlines of the epidemic. Timely extension of the legislation is essential to prevent uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS from experiencing a gap in the delivery of life-saving medical and supportive services as we continue our work toward health care reform.

On behalf of our constituents living with HIV/AIDS who receive Ryan White services, we ask that you extend the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act before September 30, 2009. We appreciate your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

(as of 10:30am ET on 9/17/09)

Alaska
Mark Begich (D)

Hawaii
Daniel Akaka (D)

Massachusetts
John Kerry (D)

Michigan
Debbie Stabenow (D)

New Mexico
Tom Udall (D)

New Jersey
Frank Lautenberg (D)
Robert Menendez (D)

Pennsylvania
Robert Casey (D)

Vermont
Bernard Sanders (I)


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