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AZT federal reimbursement

Executive Summary

HHS and members of Congress are discussing additional funding sources to provide AZT to AIDS patients who lack other reimbursement plans, Secretary Bowen told a Sept. 15 briefing. HHS has reportedly talked with Sen. Weicker (R-Conn.). Bowen said he wants "not [to] make it an entitlement program" but simply extend funds for AZT therapy to states for six additional months to allow Congress and states more time to find reimbursement solutions. Congress appropriated $ 30 mil. to states last year in a block grant for AZT therapy. Only one state, California, and the District of Columbia have moved to replace the federal grant, Bowen pointed out. A House-Senate conference committee report on the 1989 HHS Appropriations Bill chides the congressional health committees and the states for not adopting measures to pay for AIDS drugs for patients who otherwise cannot afford to obtain them.

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