The Senate failed
to reauthorize the controversial Ryan White Act before
it adjourned for the season. The reauthorization measure,
which passed the House of Representatives on September
28, did not make it to a Senate vote.
The Ryan White
Act mandates the distribution of $2 billion in federal
funds for care, treatment, and services to those with
HIV/AIDS. The reauthorization bill would have changed
the way the money is distributed and would most likely
have led to rural areas receiving more funds than they
had previously. Many Democratic legislators from states with
large cities, including New York senator Hillary
Clinton, opposed the reauthorization.
"Health care and
treatment access for one low-income uninsured group
should not be provided at the expense of the other," said
San Francisco AIDS Foundation executive director Mark
Cloutier in a statement. Cloutier believed that San
Francisco, which has the highest per capita caseload
of people with AIDS in the country, would have lost
millions of dollars if the reauthorization had passed.