Utah legislators delay action on federal HIV grant due to reform concerns
Medication money in limbo do to questions on reform
"If this is a life-and-death decision, no one on this committee wants to vote against this," said House Budget chairman Ron Bigelow, R-West Valley. He said it's clear no one will die because the Executive Appropriations Committee did not approve the federal Ryan White grant now.
But the process was not followed properly, Bigelow added, and the grant's deadline — no money for April for the drugs — should not be brought to the attention of legislative leaders with just "a couple of minutes' notice."
No other Health Department programs will be harmed by waiting a month, Bigelow said.
GOP members of Congress and the Utah Legislature are dead-set against any kind of national health care reform and haven't been shy in acting like it. Utah lawmakers, the vast majority of whom are Republicans, approved a bill and a joint resolution in March telling Congress and the Obama administration that the state would delay any reform changes Washington imposed for at least a year, and that they would, in effect, defy any regulations Utah deemed to be counter to its own health care reform effort or thought to be violations of state sovereignty.
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