Thursday, April 10, 2014

Substance Abuse Researcher says don't merge Ryan White Part D #SaveRyanWhitePartD

A couple of years ago, the government had proposed the merger of two National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction (NIAAA). At that time the idea of an Addictions Institute seemed to make sense. However, at the end, the merger did not happen. Instead, NIDA, NIAAA, and the National Cancer Institute (which funds research on tobacco addiction) maintained their identity and purpose and were instructed to collaborate and to share resources where ever possible.

I would like to express my own personal views on the merger of Ryan White Part D:

First, I am concerned about the current political and social views regarding women's health and what this merger means to those women affected;

Given federal budget uncertainties regarding HIV funding, the time, energy, and resources required for a major structural reorganization are not warranted;

HRSA project officers and staff with an expertise on issues related to Women & Children and HIV/AIDS, specifically, should continue to serve at their current capacity;

Certain populations are disproportionately affected where women and children are concerned, especially minorities and poor white women and children, making this a health equity issue;

Since Texas has not expanded Medicare, the above-aforementioned are strongly affected locally;

Also, if merging Part D makes sense to save administrative costs, then why not merge all Ryan White Parts together? (Obviously not something that is advisable.)

Evelio, Substance Abuse Researcher, Texas

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