Midwest Archives Conference Records, 1972-2014

Container Title
Subseries: Ryan White Care Act, 1993-1999
Biography/History

ARCW advocacy with the federal government began with participation on the Board of Directors of the national AIDS Action Council whose mission is to bring AIDS public policy advocacy to Congress and the Executive branch. From 1992 to 1996, ARCW President and CEO Doug Nelson was a member of the board of directors of the AIDS Action Council. ARCW COO Mike Gifford served on the board from 1997 to 2002. This participation engaged ARCW in federal government advocacy with significant influence in the development of the national AIDS policy agenda and its implementation by the federal government.

Congress enacted the Ryan White CARE Act in 1990 to improve the availability of care for low-income, uninsured, and under-insured people with HIV. The funding formulas in the legislation awarded significantly more AIDS funding to a few large cities hardest hit by the AIDS crisis—San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and others—and less funding to those with fewer AIDS cases.

When the legislation was up for reauthorization in 1994, ARCW examined the funding formulas and discovered that some states received up to $4,000 more per AIDS case than Wisconsin. As a member of the AIDS Action Council, ARCW urged a change in the funding formulas to achieve more equitable Ryan White funding per AIDS case throughout the country. Large AIDS service organizations (ASOs) from high-funded states, however, were in control of the Council and consistently opposed ARCW-recommended changes.

In its quest for equitable AIDS funding, ARCW organized the Campaign for Fairness, a national coalition of ASOs in 47 states that supported equitable funding. Representing the Campaign, ARCW leaders Doug Nelson and Mike Gifford made the case for equitable funding to Congress and the Clinton Administration. Two years of advocacy resulted in a Congressional victory for more equitable funding formulas. When President Clinton signed the Ryan White CARE Act in 1996, the new equitable formulas allocated millions more in AIDS funding for HIV services throughout the nation.

Box   3
Folder   1-5
103rd Congress, 1993-1995
Box   3
Folder   6-8
104th Congress, 1995-1997
Box   4
Folder   1-3
104th Congress, 1995-1997
Box   4
Folder   4-5
106th Congress, 1997-1999
Box   4
Folder   6
Background, 1990-1994
Box   5
Folder   1-2
Background, 1990-1994