I am a person living with AIDS whose cheeks show the side-effects of the daily cocktail I take to stay alive. Call me "protease face." My cheeks are sinking in and legendary AIDS doctor Marcus Conant wants to shoot me up with facial filler.
And now, because of CA's incredibly budget crisis, Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing massive cuts to the health care budget. He and the state are jeopardizing payment of AIDS cocktails for me, and lots of other PWAs across the state.
A number of AIDS groups, people with HIV/AIDS and our allies are banding together to save the AIDS drug program, and a web site about the fight to save the program, and our lives, has been established, and has my full support: Stop the HIV Cuts!
What does the Courage Campaign web site have to say this morning about impact of the cuts? Not a thing about how the cuts will effect the health and lives of PWAs, but lots of stuff about economic theory, a dead president who many probably think invented the vacuum cleaner, and the Treaty of Versailles.
From the Courage Campaign today:
Of the numerous disturbing and troubling aspects of Arnold Schwarzenegger's insane "let's destroy the safety net!" proposal is how the need to cut has become conventional wisdom in Sacramento. ...Forget about PWAs and needs of other people with illnesses, and actually helping us in this crisis! Courage Campaign wants to discuss convention wisdom in the capital, Herbert Hoover, Keynes (who he?), and something called the Treaty of Versailles.
Cutting the safety net is an act of economic suicide. Given the reasons for the current downturn, cutting away the safety net will merely reinforce the recession and ensure that California experiences no near-term economic recovery. California's 121 Herbert Hoovers will drive the state into Depression the way Hoover himself did in 1930-31 by insisting on massive cuts to government spending. ...
Other aspects of Arnold's budget are economically ruinous - the negative impact of park closures on tourist-dependent towns, the negative impact of mass state worker layoffs to the entire Sacramento region, the negative impact of mass teacher layoffs, etc.
If Arnold and the Democrats wanted to ensure California experienced a prolonged Depression, they could do no better than to follow the policies they have so far supported. Just as Keynes identified the future Great Depression in the flawed and punitive Treaty of Versailles, so to can we identify unending misery in the flawed and punitive 2009-10 budget.
I'm not counting on the Courage Campaign to be an effective force in saving CA's AIDS drug program and help meet the needs of PWAs. The Courage Campaign is preoccupied with sugary wedding cakes and a march on DC for October.
From the AP wire on Sunday:
The campaign's next phase will train thousands of volunteers and faith leaders to canvass door-to-door to talk about the issue [of gay marriage] with neighbors, said Rick Jacobs, chair of the Courage Campaign. Representatives from all 50 states will march on Washington on October 11 to coincide with National Coming Out Day, Jacobs said.
"We're not doing what we used to do, which is meet in West Hollywood," Jacobs said. "We want people from all 435 congressional districts to tell their stories in Washington."