Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has sent letters to both Gov. Rick Scott and President Barack Obama to call their attention to the funding problems faced by Florida’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
In his letter to Scott (available below), Nelson called on the governor to use his authority “to help some 10,000 individuals who depend on public assistance because they cannot afford life-sustaining AIDS drugs.”
Late last week, when Nelson’s letter was sent, a spokeswoman for Scott’s office said that no action was needed from the governor at the time. The health department is working on an arrangement that will allow patients relying on the program to continue receiving medications after Feb. 10, when funds are set to run dry, and officials say they are close to a solution.
In his letter to Obama, Nelson points out that Florida accounts for more than half of the patients on waiting lists nationwide for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs.
The current crisis makes clear that current federal funding for the programs is inadequate, he writes and calls on Obama to increase funding for the program in his upcoming budget proposal.
As Senate President Mike Haridopolos has withdrawn his support of a high-speed rail line connecting Orlando and Tampa, at least one business group announced plans Wednesday to rally support for the project.