June 29, 2007
ACTION ALERT!:TAKE TWO MINUTES TO REMIND THE SENATE TO SAVE LIVES WITH ETHA
Be a Superman and call your senators
Early Treatment for HIV Act(ETHA)would allow states to extend Medicaid coverage to include low-income people with HIV who have not yet become disabled by AIDS. That would mean critical early access to care. One study shows that ETHA would reduce the death rate for people with HIV on Medicaid by 50 percent. ETHA would also help relieve the financial burden on other programs, such as the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
"We can't even begin to contemplate ending AIDS in the U.S. until everyone with the disease has full access to treatment and quality health care," said Ryan Clary, Project Inform's associate director of health care advocacy. "ETHA is a critical step toward a truly comprehensive approach to fighting the epidemic."
And ETHA has a fighting chance of being passed. "Given the renewed attention on the healthcare crisis in this country, I'm optimistic. All of the bill's authors, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, say that ETHA is one of their top priorities," Clary said. Pelosi (D-CA) is expected introduce ETHA in the House next month.What can you do?
Call your two U.S. senators toll-free at 800-614-2803. You will get the Capitol Switchboard. Ask to be connected to your senator's office.
Once you reach your senator's office, ask to speak to the staff person who handles HIV or healthcare issues. Say you are a constituent and that you urge the senator to cosponsor S. 860, the Early Treatment for HIV Act. Tell the office why improving access to care/treatment for people with HIV is important to you or people you care about.
If your senator is a Republican, he or she should contact the office of Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) to sign. If he or she is a Democrat, the senator should contact the office of Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY).
If your senators are on the following list, they have already cosponsored ETHA. Please take a minute to call and thank them for their leadership!
- Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)
- Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico)
- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California)
- Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
- Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington)
- Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-Maryland)
- Senator Hillary Clinton (D-New York) **Lead author
- Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota)
- Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine)
- Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut)
- Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois)
- Senator Russell Feingold (D-Wisconsin)
- Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California)
- Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
- Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts)
- Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey)
- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)
- Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan)
- Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas)
- Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey)
- Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington)
- Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida)
- Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island)
- Senator Bernard Sanders (I-Vermont)
- Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York)
- Senator Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) **Lead author
- Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
- Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania)
- Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan)
- Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)