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Elton John weighs in on AIDS drugs controversy w/Rick Scott

Singer Elton John is pleading with Gov. Rick Scott to halt any proposed changes to Florida's Aids Drug Assistance Program. The Scott administration is considering whether to change the income eligibility requirements from 400 percent of the federal poverty level to 200 percent.

Scott's office has put out the following points in reaction to this AP story here:

* Gov. Scott did NOT veto any funding for AIDS-related programs in the budget signed last week.

 * Florida spends more than $200 million on AIDS drug assistance and other AIDS health initiatives each year.

* The Dept. of Health has proposed an amendment to current rule to change the eligibility standard for the ADAP program from 400% of Federal Poverty Level to 200% FPL.

* This change will ensure that Florida is allocating the dollars appropriated for AIDS drugs to those who are most needy and most vulnerable. Florida’s waiting list for AIDS drug assistance is currently more than twice as large as any other state. Florida also has a more generous eligibility standard than most other states.

* If the rule change is promulgated, individuals with AIDS whose incomes are above 200% of FPL and who have extraordinary medical expenses would still be able to receive assistance through Florida’s Medicaid for the Medically Needy program, which will pay for their AIDS drugs.

Attached is a document putting Florida's AIDS drugs issues in a national context  Download ADAP Watch[1]