1. The Administration should direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to take affirmative steps to ensure that CDC-funded HIV counseling and testing programs in all States and territories offer the option of anonymous testing that is geographically accessible and available to all who wish to be tested anonymously.
2. The Administration should issue an Executive Directive to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to add nutritional foods to those medical expenses covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, a fee-for-service plan.
3. The Administration should direct the Social Security Administration (and other appropriate agencies) to include and add the following reminder to the Social Security Notice of Disability Award: (specific wording to be developed by the Administration - this is our proposal).
If you have extended your medical insurance under Cobra, your employer must be given a copy of this letter no later than------- (date of letter plus 60 days), and sooner in many cases, if you are to take full advantage of your Cobra insurance. You may be eligible for an additional 11 months of coverage after the first 18 months after your Cobra coverage has expired.
4. The Administration should recommend a substantial increase in the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) budget for FY 1997.
5. The Administration should direct Medicaid and Medicare to determine which alternative/complementary therapies can be reimbursable immediately and directly to qualified health care providers. Medicaid and Medicare also should outline a plan for investigating whether other therapies are reimbursable directly to qualified medical and paramedical practitioners.
6. The Administration should direct OAM and OAR to act in concert to convene a working group consisting of representatives from countries doing alternative therapy research, HIV alternative therapy practitioners, conventional researchers, representatives from private insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and HIV-positive people using alternative therapies, to investigate new and innovative ways to research and make available to people therapies that anecdotally are being identified as treatments for HIV.
We acknowledge the Administration's achievement in obtaining level funding for housing to date. However, given the expanding epidemic, level funding in the long run is not going to meet the developing needs.
7. The Clinton Administration should address the chronic underfunding of Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) in FY97 and FY98 by expanding funding to keep up with the growing demand for housing and related support services in existing HOPWA jurisdictions, as well as the increase in the number of eligible jurisdictions overall. In particular, given the gravity of the situation, the President should include supplemental funds for HOPWA in any budget amendment or emergency supplemental funding request that he may submit to Congress in the next year.
8. The Administration should demonstrate strong White House leadership and commitment to AIDS housing by convening a series of high-level White House and cabinet level meetings by the Fall of 1996 to develop a coordinated, comprehensive HOPWA Revitalization Plan. At a minimum, these meetings would include representatives from Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the White House. These meetings, and the resulting HOPWA Revitalization Plan, should establish means and timetables to achieve full funding and timely reauthorization of HOPWA as a distinct HUD program, as well as improved interagency coordination and integration of AIDS housing services with other AIDS-related programs.