//
you're reading...
Illinois HIV/AIDS, Illinois Public Health

State Rep Sara Feigenholtz Takes Aim at Looming Financial Crisis in Illinois AIDS Drug Assistance Program


State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

(Chicago, IL) — January 25, 2010. State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), Chair of the Human Services Appropriations Committee, on Friday convened the committee at a public hearing to tackle the looming financial crisis in the Illinois AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and HIV prevention programs.

The state AIDS drug program, which currently 4,600 people, is under siege from unprecedented demand due to Illinois’ economic turbulence and spiraling unemployment which stands at 11.1% in the state.

Program demand is expected to grow by 15% in 2010 and will need an additional $10 million to meet the growth, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

“The AIDS Drug Assistance Program is a lifeline for over 4,600 low-income, uninsured people every month, but demand for the program is skyrocketing,” Feigenholtz said. “Approximately 105 new people apply monthly.”

“The need to maintain ADAP has forced the state to cut back on funding for HIV prevention services, which will only result in more HIV cases and more uninsured people who need ADAP. We need a balanced and sustainable solution to this public health emergency.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health estimates the ADAP clients use 8,500 prescriptions monthly. And the cost of medications to the department have zoomed from $2.0 million monthly to $3.5 million, Feigenholtz says.

One of those clients is Matt Appleman from Dixon, IL. Appleman turned to ADAP because health insurance companies refused to sell him insurance coverage due to his HIV status.

“My HIV medications cost over $20,000 a year, but that’s what keeps me healthy and able to run my business,” said Appleman, who testified Friday.

“If I couldn’t get HIV medications through ADAP, I’d probably get so sick that I’d have to shut down my business and go on disability.  I’d get HIV meds, but I’d have lost everything else.”

The state of Illinois faces nearly a $13 billion budget deficit, the second largest in the nation, and has been reduced to paying its bills to vendors, on average, six months late.

The state does not have an extra $10 million laying around. It’s broke.

Governor Pat Quinn has been urging–pleading–with the Illinois legislature to raise the state’s income tax to maintain the state’s vital programs, such as ADAP. But his pleas have tumbled into a rabbit hole.

The Illinois General Assembly returns to “work” after the February 2 primary election. But informed observers expect lawmakers to punt on any income tax to avoid the wrath of surly voters in November.

Prognosis: not good.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and Huffington Post blogger, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

Discussion

One thought on “State Rep Sara Feigenholtz Takes Aim at Looming Financial Crisis in Illinois AIDS Drug Assistance Program

  1. I am wondering who is in charge in the overturning of statutes of limitations for our State of Illinois? Illinois can spend less money concerning HIV/AIDS services and programs-such as ADAP dollars that aren’t being spent wisely.(Meaning serving more people with a cost affective program that Indiana our neighboring State is already doing) I was part of advocating to bring this already in existence idea alive in Indiana because I learned that other States had changed their drug assistance program ADAP to the new insurance program and it was working.The Ryan White dollars now fund these life saving medications & services at cost affective rate, serve more people and services are much broader..meaning medical provider services.ADAP still exist in part during the transition and serves as a bridge during a waiting period before clients transfer into the Comprehensive health insurance assistance program (HIAP).HIAP works with the Indiana State insurance ICHIP Premiums are paid for and co pays are too. I was part of bringing the program into the State of Indiana and it still stands today and when I did utilize it ..I Loved it, it paid for medications and a variety of services. With money being cut we must look at alternative ideas to the budget crisis/recession that is hitting us all and infection rates going up we must reevaluate how to implement new ideas, ideas that some of our neighboring States are doing.I have mentioned it to some top HIV/AIDS advocates but it always falls on deaf ears. Please hear me , this is a way to help more people, expand services and spend less money.I’ve been living with AIDS for 24 years and I care about my community, unfortunately I have lost faith in the powers that be , the ones who run these organizations.

    Thank you
    Greg Sanchez
    773-305-6404

    Posted by Greg Sanchez III | January 29, 2010, 11:09 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Submit your email address and be among the first to receive our posts by e-mail as soon as they are published. It's free.

David Ormsby, Editor

RSS Gov. Pat Quinn

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
%d bloggers like this: