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Panel pushes national program for HIV poor

Thursday, May 13, 2004 Posted: 11:02 AM EDT (1502 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government should pick up more of the costly medical tab for low-income Americans with HIV and create a new federal benefits program to do it, a scientific panel recommended Thursday.

Such expanded coverage could cost $5.6 billion over 10 years, says the report by the Institute of Medicine, which suggests streamlining HIV/AIDS care by shifting current federal spending, including Medicaid funds, to a single entitlement program.

Despite the advent of new and improved AIDS drugs, thousands of people are left with inadequate treatment because government programs are hampered by shortfalls in state budgets and confusing eligibility standards that vary among states, says the report.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/conditions/05/13/hiv.aids.care.ap/index.html