Dahlkemper Votes to Provide Affordable, Quality Care for Americans Living with HIV/AIDS

Dahlkemper Votes to Provide Affordable, Quality Care for Americans Living with HIV/AIDS

Bill authorizes funding to local health organizations treating the disease

Washington—Today, Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3) voted to provide life-saving care, treatment, and support services to nearly half a million Americans living with HIV and AIDS. The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act makes vital investments in research and care to ensure that Americans living with HIV and AIDS can maintain the highest quality of life as we strive to find a cure.

“The Ryan White Program has been serving Americans living with HIV and AIDS for nearly 20 years,” Dahlkemper. “Local organizations, such as Community HealthNet in Erie, directly benefit from this bill, which makes key investments to improve the quality and affordability of care for HIV and AIDS patients for years to come.”

“For many people in the region who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, Community HealthNet is their only provider of medical and dental services. Without this funding, they would not have access to this vital care, and our organization would not be able to fulfill this important part of our mission. This program is essential both for the health of our region and the success of Community HealthNet,” said John Schultz, chief executive officer of Community HealthNet.

First established in 1990, the Ryan White Program has made it easier for HIV/AIDS patients to afford the costly medical treatments they need to survive. Today’s extension will increase the authorization level for each part of the program by 5% a year for the next four years to ensure that we continue to provide access to vital health benefits for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured Americans. It also makes investments to improve care in regions of the country with the highest rates of HIV/AIDS, and helps to eliminate disparities in access to care among racial and ethnic groups by funding the Minority AIDS Initiative – a program that ensures minority populations receive uninterrupted, quality care for HIV/AIDS. 

“This program is a lifeline for some of our most vulnerable populations,” said Dahlkemper. “I am proud to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress to support this life-saving initiative to ensure that Americans living with HIV and AIDS receive the care they need.”

Each year, over 50,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS are reported in our communities. 1.1 million Americans are currently living with HIV or AIDS.