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AHF to Schwarzenegger: 'AIDS Cuts Are Deadly'
Date:1/10/2008

AS CDC Prepares to Release Alarming New HIV Rates; Governor Should Cut Bureaucracy, Corporate Loopholes

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today urged California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to reconsider and reverse $11 million of proposed budget cuts in AIDS services that will reduce and threaten vital lifesaving care and services for Californians living with HIV/AIDS as he seeks to close a $14 billion deficit in the state budget. Late last year, the Governor asked state department and program heads to submit proposed 2008 budgets which included across the board cuts of ten percent. AHF is urging the governor to instead seek budget cost savings by cutting bureaucracy and eliminating corporate loopholes rather than by cutting critical public health services, particularly those for Californians living with HIV/AIDS.

"Cutting crucial California AIDS services at the same time the Centers for Disease Control is preparing to release new nationwide data showing a stark increase in HIV cases in the US -- figures many expect to be up to 50% or more higher than the previous CDC estimate of 40,000 new HIV cases per year -- is a very poor budget and public health strategy," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "California will ultimately pay more in health care costs in the long run if it adopts such ill-timed AIDS cuts, and we urge the Governor and Legislature to quickly restore this public health funding. The Governor should instead seek cost savings by reducing bureaucracy and eliminating the abundance of corporate and tax-avoidance loopholes in the state rather than try to balance the budget on the backs of California's most vulnerable citizens."

The Governor's 2008-09 budget for California's Department of Public Health (CDPH) is $3.1 billion, of which $368.9 million is from General Fund. Of all the offices and departments under the DPH, the State Office of AIDS r
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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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