Ryan White CARE Act:

Estimated Effect of Proposed Stop-Loss Provision on Urban Areas

GAO-09-472R: Published: Mar 6, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 2009.

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Congress asked GAO to estimate the effect on Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act of 1990 (CARE Act) funding to urban areas if certain stop-loss provisions are enacted. The CARE Act, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services's (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), was enacted to address the needs of jurisdictions, health care providers, and people with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). In December 2006, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006 (Modernization Act of 2006) reauthorized CARE Act programs for fiscal years 2007 through 2009. In February 2009, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1105, the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, which contains a stop-loss provision covering CARE Act funding for urban areas that receive funding under the CARE Act. This bill has not been passed by the Senate.

Under the CARE Act, funding for urban areas--Eligible Metropolitan Areas (EMA) and Transitional Grant Areas (TGA)--is primarily provided through three categories of grants: (1) formula grants that are awarded based on the case counts of people with HIV/AIDS in an urban area; (2) supplemental grants that are awarded on a competitive basis based on an urban area's demonstration of need, including criteria such as HIV/AIDS prevalence; and (3) Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) grants, which are supplemental grants awarded on a competitive basis for urban areas to address disparities in access, treatment, care, and health outcomes. Changes in grantee characteristics and funding formulas can cause increases or decreases in grantees' funding. H.R. 1105, which was passed by the House of Representatives on February 25, 2009, contains a provision to ensure that decreases in total 2008 Part A funding for fiscal year 2008 for each EMA and TGA would not exceed levels specified in the bill. It would limit the total funding decrease for an EMA for the 2008 fiscal year to no more than 6.3 percent of what the EMA received for the 2006 fiscal year. Decreases for a TGA for the 2008 fiscal year would be limited to 11.3 percent of its total funding for fiscal year 2006. The funding necessary to limit the decreases to urban areas would be given as increases to supplemental grants for fiscal year 2009.

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