DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006--Continued
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Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, I rise today in strong support of the Bingaman amendment. This amendment provides $74 million in much needed additional support for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
Yesterday, the Senate overwhelmingly defeated an amendment by Senator Coburn that would have increased ADAP funding at the expense of the Centers for Disease Control construction and renovations account. CDC buildings and labs haven't been updated in years, and in some cases decades. Today, we are asking CDC to do more to protect public health than ever before, especially in light of important priorities like avian flu preparedness and combating bioterrorism. It doesn't make sense to cut the funds that would help them build the facilities to do it, which is why I could not support the Coburn amendment.
The Bingaman amendment will help provide additional funding for lifesaving medications to nearly 150,000 low-income, uninsured or underinsured people in the United States. And it does not cut other important public health programs to do it. The CDC estimates that over 212,000 people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with HIV are not receiving treatment, making this additional ADAP funding a critical priority. I urge my colleagues to help those not receiving treatment by supporting this important amendment.