AIDS money controversy – Providers keep costs under 10 percent

Bay Area AIDS health-care providers face strong criticism from those who say they are spending too much federal money on a bloated bureaucracy, the San Francisco Chronicle reported July 17.

The Ryan White Care Act provides $6.1 billion to help AIDS patients across the U.S. San Francisco gets about $32 million of that amount. The money is distributed widely to nonprofits and community health-care groups for prevention and health care access.

Critics say too much of the money is going to administration, even though the act itself limits to 10 percent the amount that can go to management.

Health-care providers acknowledge there is room for improvement, but say they are following the letter of the law.

Kevin W. Johnson, a Concord resident who has the disease, told the Chronicle the system needs people to advocate for its clients.

John Iverson, who helped found ACT UP East Bay, said he constantly gets calls from people looking for referrals he believes Ryan White-funded agencies should be providing – information about monthly food vouchers or transportation assistance, for example.

LeRoy Blea, chairman of the Ryan White Services Planning Council in Oakland, welcomed the criticism but said the system is set up to help with basic life needs such as paying for health care and rent.

For full story, see the San Francisco Chronicle.

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