An AIDS patient advocacy organization has issued a 2011 scorecard ranking members of Congress according to their support of the federally-funded AIDS Drug Assistance Program, known as ADAP, which has been subject to a funding crisis since 2010.
In a press release(.pdf), the ADAP Advocacy Association writes that its 2011 scorecard shows “a marked improvement over last year because the vast majority of both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate received passing grades. Republicans and Democrats both supported additional federal funding, which contributed to the improved rankings last year.”
ADAP is a nationwide, federally-funded payer of last resort for people who cannot afford their HIV/AIDS medications. The program has been in a funding crisis since 2010, which prompted many states, including Florida, to implement cost containment measures (.pdf) such as waiting lists.
The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, or NASTAD (.pdf), shows that, as of last week, Florida has the longest AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list in the U.S. The data also show that over 4,250 people in 11 states are currently on an ADAP waiting list across the U.S.
The Association evaluated House Members using a 10-point scale and Senate Members using a 5-point scale. The scorecard issued one of four grades: Fail, Pass, Pass with Honors or Pass with Excellence.
Florida Republican lawmakers including Sandy Adams, Connie Mack, Dennis Ross, Steve Southerland and Allen West scored 0 points; Gus Bilarakis, Vern Buchanan, Ander Crenshaw, Mario Diaz-Ballart, John Mica, Jeff Miller, Richard Nugent, Bill Posey, David Rivera, Tom Rooney, Cliff Stearns, Daniel Webster and C.W. Bill Young (all Republicans) scored 2 points; Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen scored three points.
Florida Democrats fared slightly better. Corrine Brown, Kathy Castor and Ted Deutch scored 5 points; Alcee Hastings and Frederica Wilson scored six points and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz scored seven points.
The report card awards Republican Sen. Marco Rubio 1 point and Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson 3 points.
The ADAP Advocacy Association gave 57 Republicans a “Fail” grade, 182 a “Pass” grade. One received a “Pass with Honors” grade. Meanwhile, 59 Democrats garnered “Pass” grades and 121 earned “Pass with Honors” grades. Two Democrats failed under the rankings.
Democratic Representative Henry “Hank” Johnson (GA-4) had the highest score among House Members with a nine rating.