Elton John and Rick Scott Spar Over AIDS Drug Assistance Program
Singer Elton John is just the latest in a long line of critics who have a bone to pick with Florida governor Rick Scott. Through his Elton John AIDS Foundation, the singer wrote a letter to Scott urging the governor not to make further cuts to the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program. His administration is considering a rule that would raise the requirements for patients seeking life saving, but pricey medication though the program.
The state has already instituted waiting lists for those seeking help purchasing antiretroviral medication. More than 3500 people currently sit on that list. Currently patients who live at 400% of the poverty line are eligible for help, but Scott's administration is considering lowering that rate to 200%. That mean only people making $21,780-a-year or less would be eligible, though most regimens carry a yearly price tag much higher than that.
"In their letter, John and foundation Chairman David Furnish say lowering income eligibility could mean 1,600 people will no longer get help obtaining antiretroviral medication," reports the Associated Press.
Scott's administration has responded quickly to the letter, and said that though hearings were held about the cuts to eligibility, the rule has not been put in place.
Though, Scott is still considering it, but according to Naked Politics, his office has pointed out that, "If the rule change is promulgated, individuals with AIDS whose incomes are above 200% of FPL and who have extraordinary medical expenses would still be able to receive assistance through Florida's Medicaid for the Medically Needy program, which will pay for their AIDS drugs."
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