For Immediate Release
Los Angeles, Calif., January 10, 2013 — AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) today applauded Governor Jerry Brown for maintaining California’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) at current levels of service, in his January budget proposal. The governor’s proposal would enable the program to provide lifesaving HIV/AIDS drug therapies at no cost to over 40,000 low-income Californians living with HIV/AIDS. In previous years, the governor has proposed cuts and onerous cost-sharing in ADAP.
While ADAP is spared cuts in the coming year, the budget proposal leaves open many questions about how the future expansion of Medi-Cal and implementation of the Health Benefits Exchange – known as “Covered California” – will impact thousands of low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. The expansion is mandated under the Affordable Care Act (or healthcare reform) in 2014. Additionally, the governor’s budget proposes a small delay in the start of a significant overhaul in access to services for those people enrolled in both Medicare and Medi-Cal.
“We are grateful to the governor -- and to the voters who approved Proposition 30 in November 2012 -- for sparing people living with HIV/AIDS from additional cuts to services, beyond those cuts approved in years past,” says APLA Executive Director Craig E. Thompson. “We look forward to working with the Governor and his administration to ensure that healthcare reform maintains and improves access to care and services for people with HIV/AIDS in California.”
ADAP provides HIV/AIDS medications free of charge for those earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The program’s cost is paid through state general funds, federal funds, and rebates from pharmaceutical companies. Los Angeles County residents living with HIV/AIDS account for about 45 percent of all ADAP beneficiaries statewide.
AIDS Project Los Angeles, one of the largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the United States, provides bilingual direct care and treatment services to over 7,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles annually and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. In 2013, APLA marked its 30th year of operation, and we are a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national and global reach.
APLA Health & Wellness is a Federally Qualified Health Center providing primary medical care, oral healthcare, mental health services, HIV testing, STD screening/ treatment and health education and HIV prevention services targeting low income gay and bisexual men of color and transgender individuals. APLA Health & Wellness serves over 6,000 individuals across Los Angeles County each year.
For more information, visit apla.org.