Document Sample
					H2876                                 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — HOUSE                                              June 5, 2001
health plans will only be subject to li-    the patient or heirs or the plan can                     GENERAL LEAVE
ability under section 502 for benefit ad-   elect to continue the review process          Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I ask
ministration decisions that cause harm      and the court can consider the out-         unanimous consent that all Members
or death. Those include decisions such      come. But we do not want to pass a law      may have 5 legislative days within
as whether an employee is eligible for      that says that a plan can slow-walk an      which to revise and extend their re-
coverage, whether a benefit is part of      appeals process, delay treatment, make      marks on the Special Orders of today.
the plan or other purely administrative     this thing go on and on, and then have        The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there
contractual decisions.                      the patient die in the meantime, and        objection to the request of the gen-
  Punitive damages are not allowed          then be liable for nothing; at least I do   tleman from Texas?
under the Federal cause of action. A        not want to.                                  There was no objection.
civil assessment may be awarded upon          Now, the Norwood-Dingell bill re-           Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, today
showing clear and convincing evidence       moved the ERISA section 514 preemp-         we mark the 20th year of the AIDS epi-
that the plan acted in bad faith and        tion of State law for all torts and al-     demic. On June 5, 1981, the Centers for
with flagrant disregard. Those are high     lowed injured patients to bring a cause     Disease Control published a morbidity
standards.                                  of action in State court for injuries       and mortality weekly report on the
  This standard carries a high burden       caused by a medical decision or an ad-      diseases which affect AIDS. I spoke at
of proof and is consistent with State       ministrative decision. Our new bill is      the rally this past Sunday.
statutes. This standard ensures that a      different. Our new bill says, and it is a     Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentle-
health plan will not be subject to these    significant compromise, it limits the       woman from the Virgin Islands (Mrs.
damages for simply making a wrong           scope of actions that can be filed in       CHRISTENSEN).
decision. A plan must show flagrant         State court to only those involving           Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I
disregard for the health and safety of      medically-reviewable decisions. That is     want to thank the gentleman for pro-
others. Before exercising that legal        a major compromise. We made this            viding this hour for us to discuss this
remedy, the patient has to exhaust          step towards the opponents to our bill.     important issue and remember and
both internal and external appeals            This bifurcation of the remedy into a     look back over the 20 years since the
processes. If the patient suffers irrep-    State component and a Federal compo-        first cases of then an unknown disease
arable harm or death prior to the com-      nent holds to the principles underlying     was being discovered.
pletion of the review process, the pa-      ERISA. The existing Federal cause of          The gentleman and I were fortunate
tient or heirs of the plan can elect to     action under ERISA affords health           today to be able to spend some time at
continue the review process and the         plans a set of uniform standards for        a symposium in Washington that was
court can consider the outcome. That        making administrative decisions. That       sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foun-
is from language adopted from the           is what ERISA was intended to do.           dation and the Ford Foundation to
                                            That is why it was originally designed      look back over those years to see how
Goss-Coburn-Shadegg substitute that
                                            to be a bill for the benefit of employ-     far we have come and how far we have
was debated on this floor 2 years ago
                                            ees, not employers. However, when a         yet to go. I want to take this oppor-
and which received a lot of support
                                            health plan makes a decision that in-       tunity to thank the Kaiser Foundation
from the Republican Members.
                                            volves medical judgment, that plan, in      and the Ford Foundation for their
  The second piece of the bill liability
                                            my opinion, should be subject to the        work, the support that they provide to
package amends ERISA section 514 to
                                            State laws, and recent Supreme Court        research, the support that they provide
allow causes of action in State court
                                            decisions and the 5th Circuit decision      to community organizations and this
for a denial of a claim for benefits in-
                                            upholding the Texas health plan liabil-     country and around the world, to ad-
volving a medically reviewable deci-
                                            ity would allow for the continued de-       dress this disease.
sion that causes harm or death to a pa-
                                            velopment of State laws.                      We also heard the gentlewoman from
tient.                                        Mr. Speaker, I will summarize here.       California (Ms. PELOSI) earlier talk
                  b 2100                    There are a number of States that have      about the people who preceded her and
  Punitive damages are prohibited in        passed health plan liability laws: Ari-     we mentioned today how fortunate we
cases where the plan properly followed      zona, California, Georgia, Louisiana,       were as we came to Congress in 1997 to
the requirements of the appeal proc-        Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas,          have the work of the gentlewoman
esses and followed the determination of     Washington. The Ganske-Dingell bill,        from California (Ms. PELOSI), the work
an external review. However, as in the      the McCain-Edwards bill recognizes          of the gentleman from Washington (Mr.
Federal cause of action, punitive dam-      that. The bills that would move all li-
                                                                                        MCDERMOTT), Lou Stokes, and the gen-
ages are available in cases where there     ability into Federal courts would pre-
                                                                                        tlewoman from California (Ms. WA-
is a clear and convincing evidence that     empt those States. We provide a floor;
                                                                                        TERS), and many, many others to build
the plan exhibited a willful or wanton      they preempt.
                                              Finally, let me just say a word about     upon.
disregard for the rights and safety of                                                    We have really seen a lot of wonder-
                                            the employer protections, because we
others.                                                                                 ful advances in the last 20 years, but
                                            have a significant compromise in this
  I want to ask my colleagues some-                                                     we still have a lot more that has to be
                                            bill from the last time around. The last
thing: Do we want to vote for a bill                                                    done. We have seen the identification
                                            time around we said an employer could
that says if a plan exhibits willful or     be liable if they exercise discretion or    of what was then an unknown disease
wanton disregard for the safety or          authority; and the business community       to advanced therapies that have trans-
rights of others that they should not       said, we think that that standard is a      formed what was a death sentence to
have any responsibility? I mean, do         little loose, so we changed it. We use      now what is almost a chronic disease.
any of my colleagues want to bring a        now a standard that was proposed by         We have an improved quality of life for
bill to the floor that would say that if    opponents to our bill last time that        those who have been diagnosed with
a tire explodes and people are killed       says, only if we directly participate       HIV. They can live comfortable and
and that company that made that tire        can one be held liable.                     quality lives rather than just having to
showed a willful and wanton disregard         Mr. Speaker, there are very few that      wait to die.
for the safety of the purchaser, that       do that. We have a big bill coming up         Mr. Speaker, I am going to turn this
they should not be liable? Well, I do       for debate. I hope my friends and col-      Special Order back to the gentleman
not know about my colleagues, but I         leagues will look at this bill in detail.   from Texas (Mr. RODRIGUEZ), and I will
sure do not want to go home and cam-                     f                              join him again later at the conclusion
paign with that on my record.                                                           of his comments.
  In our bill, before exercising this                  AIDS EPIDEMIC                      Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, let
legal remedy, the patient has to ex-          The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr.              me thank the gentlewoman from the
haust both internal and external ap-        ISSA). Under the Speaker’s announced        Virgin Islands. I know that from the
peals. But if the patient suffers irrep-    policy of January 3, 2001, the gen-         Black Caucus the gentlewoman has
arable harm or death prior to the com-      tleman from Texas (Mr. RODRIGUEZ) is        been working diligently, and as chair-
pletion of the review process, either       recognized for 60 minutes.                  man of the Hispanic Caucus on Health,
June 5, 2001                            CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — HOUSE                                                       H2877
I want to thank her specifically for the      family to find playmates and people            Probably the most negative thing
work that she has been doing on this          that you hang out with.                      that I have seen in the last few years
issue and all issues on health, so I            This particular cousin used to do my       with respect to HIV and AIDS is that
thank the gentlewoman. I look forward         hair at his own company, at his own          the infection is growing highest and at
to continued dialogue.                        salon. He was a successful business-         an alarming rate in the Hispanic com-
  Let me just make a few comments.            man, not too far away from where I           munity across the Nation. In par-
We have other fellow colleagues that          lived; and at one point he got sick. As      ticular, women who believe they are in
are here with us today, but I want to         AIDS progressed with him, I and many         a monogamous relationship, i.e., they
take the opportunity to just say that it      of the members of my family got to un-       are married and they believe that they
is hard for me to believe that it has         derstand what it was like then to live       are okay, are the ones that we are see-
been 20 years, and as the sign back here      under those conditions, and then for a       ing most often the rate going up in the
says, ‘‘Twenty Years is Enough.’’             society that really did not understand       rate of HIV, the HIV disease.
Twenty years later, HIV/AIDS has              what HIV and what AIDS was about.              So we have more to do. We need to
taken the lives of close to 22 million        You would think that in a Hispanic           get information out, and many of the
people worldwide. It is hard for me to        culture, we are a little afraid of things    people who work on HIV and AIDS in
also believe that 15 years ago, I was in      like this, we do not like to talk about      Orange County are working on cam-
the Texas legislature listening to my         these things, but one of the great           paigns to get the information out to
fellow colleague denounce the spending        things that I think my cousin had was        our minority communities.
money on AIDS prevention because of           an ability to come together and to help        I thank my colleague, the gentleman
narrow bigotry. In essence, he would          with the situation.                          from Texas, for taking this hour. I
say, these people deserve it. I only            I had a cousin who was an out-             think this is a very important mile-
mention that because thank God that           standing member, who was a great             stone, but there is so much more to do
we have really come a long way from           family person but, at the same time,         still. I thank the gentleman.
that perspective, and I am proud to           was a business owner. I saw him lose           Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I
stand here today and see how far we           his business because he could not work;      thank the gentlewoman from Cali-
have come, although we have a lot             and because he could not work, he lost       fornia for her comments. There is no
more to do.                                   the business. I saw him lose his home.       doubt this is an area and issue that
  I would like to recognize the count-        I saw him go, and we would take him          confronts our community.
less individuals and organizations that       to the hospital sometimes with some            The gentlewoman mentioned dis-
are out there working on issues such as       affliction, and I saw doctors who were       proportionately how it hits the His-
research on AIDS trends that affects          afraid to treat him or would turn him        panic population. There is no doubt
new drugs, the advocacy groups that           down to treat him. I saw the red tape        that we represent 13 percent of the pop-
are out there working, the advocacy           and what it took to get him into a hos-      ulation, yet we represent more than 20
groups that are working for children          pital, to get him back on his feet. I saw    percent of the new cases. So I want to
with AIDS, the foundation activities          a society that did not understand what       thank the gentlewoman for being here
that are raising awareness in the area        was happening and refused to put the         tonight.
of AIDS, the key components and the           money and refused to treat somebody            I yield to the gentlewoman from
global effort in the area of AIDS. The        who had AIDS. I thought, you know, in        California (Ms. WOOLSEY), and I thank
Hispanic Caucus, the Black Caucus and         that last year of his life, here is some-    the gentlewoman for being here to-
the Asian Pacific American Caucus are         one who is dying, and the thing that         night.
working together to find solutions to         they should have most intact is a dig-         Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank
specific communities of color also. As        nity about life. I saw a world that did      the gentleman from Texas for yielding
                                              not understand and did not want to           to me, and for putting this all to-
chairman of the Congressional His-
                                              treat him with dignity. That was in          gether. He has done us all a great favor
panic Caucus Task Force on Health, I
                                              1990.                                        this evening.
have had the opportunity to work with           Now, I am glad to report that just
many of my friends and colleagues on                                                         Mr. Speaker, 20 years ago, HIV and
                                              this past month, we in Orange County         AIDS was thought to affect only gay,
efforts to increase resources for AIDS        cut the ribbon on Emanual House, a
prevention, education, and treatment.                                                      white men. Time has proved otherwise.
                                              living house for 21 people who will
It affects the lives of the rich, the poor,                                                We now know that HIV and AIDS does
                                              come and live in an environment that
the famous, the not-so-famous, the                                                         not discriminate. It reaches out to
                                              will be a positive environment for
blacks, the browns, the whites. It af-                                                     men, women, and children of all ages in
                                              those who have HIV or have AIDS. It is
fects all of us.                                                                           every social and economic group of
                                              a great collaborative effort by home-
  Let me take this opportunity, since                                                      every race and in every country in the
                                              builders and by mercy housing and by
we have some of our colleagues here                                                        world.
                                              one of the priesthoods there, Catholic
today, to recognize them. We have two                                                        I live in Petaluma, California. A good
                                              priesthood in Orange County, to build
people from California, and I want to                                                      friend of mine was the first woman to
                                              this home in a neighborhood, in a fam-
take the pleasure of recognizing the                                                       die of AIDS in Sonoma County 10 years
                                              ily neighborhood in Santa Ana who
gentlewoman from California (Ms.                                                           ago. I can remember when the subject
                                              worked with us and who welcome these
SANCHEZ), who also sits with me on the                                                     of AIDS first came up 10 years before
                                              new residents who will come to this
Committee on Armed Services. I thank                                                       that. She and I had lunch together, and
                                              beautiful,    beautiful    home     called
the gentlewoman for being here this           Emanual House.                               we were sitting and talking, and trying
evening, and I yield to the gentle-                                                        to figure out actually what this disease
woman.                                                          b 2115                     was and how to prevent it, and why it
  Ms. SANCHEZ. Mr. Speaker, I thank             I have seen a change in the funding        was spreading so rapidly around the
the gentleman from Texas (Mr.                 levels. I have seen a change in the          country.
RODRIGUEZ), my fellow caucus member           breakthroughs that we have had for             Twenty years ago, people afflicted
from Texas.                                   medicine for AIDS. I have seen even a        with HIV-AIDS had little or no chance
  Mr. Speaker, AIDS is something that         change over the years in the walk for        to enjoy a good quality of life. Thank-
tends to be pretty foreign to people          AIDS that happened this past Sunday          fully, scientific research has led to suc-
until it touches someone in your fam-         in Orange County, where we had over          cessful life-prolonging therapies, but
ily. In my particular case, in 1990 I had     15,000 people participate to walk on         the epidemic is far, far from over.
a cousin, a very close cousin, who died       Sunday morning, and where we raised            I am proud to represent a district
of AIDS. This was a cousin that I used        almost $1 million in Orange County,          that is committed to fighting the
to visit every Sunday. In a Hispanic          California, for research and for help on     spread of the HIV virus. Marin and
family we tend to be very, very close;        AIDS, to help these people who lose          Sonoma Counties, the two counties
and your cousins tend to be the friends       their jobs, who lose their homes, many       just north of San Francisco across the
that you have. The family is so large,        who still lose their families. It is a       Golden Gate Bridge, have one of the
you never have to go outside of the           very positive thing.                         Nation’s highest incidences of HIV/
H2878                                 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — HOUSE                                              June 5, 2001
AIDS. But these counties provide com-       tistics: worldwide, 36 million people are   We need to reach out to our citizens,
prehensive services for people living       now infected, and 21.8 million have         regardless of how we feel about their
with HIV/AIDS. They have consistently       died, including 3 million last year.        sexual orientation or their background.
pushed forward aggressive public policy     Each year, 5.5 million new people are       Our churches need to employ a
initiatives such as the needle exchange     infected. That figure represents more       nonjudgmental approach so that it is
programs.                                   than 15,000 victims a year.                 easy for people in need to seek assist-
  The boards of supervisors in both           However, I wish to focus on my State      ance from the church community. We
Marin and Sonoma Counties passed            of North Carolina. According to figures     cannot shut our doors because someone
needle exchange regulations and ac-         from last year, North Carolina ranked       does something or looks in a certain
ceptance when it was illegal in the         23rd among 50 States and the District       way. Our churches should and must be
State of California.                        of Columbia in terms of the number of       in the vanguard in addressing this
  Advances in treatment, coupled with       AIDS cases. Most North Carolina HIV         issue.
effective public policy, remind us that     disease reports highlight the male pop-       Twenty years after AIDS, we know
good things happen when government          ulation; 65.5 percent were African          that this is no longer a gay disease. We
and the public health community work        American, and 72.1 percent of them fell     know it is not a disease that just af-
together, and when education is made        between the ages of 30 and 39 years of      fects an urban population. As the fig-
abundant so that people understand          age.                                        ures that I mentioned about my dis-
what they are up against, what the            The statistics from my district are       trict in North Carolina demonstrate,
challenges are, and what prevention         even more unsettling. African Ameri-        this disease is affecting rural citizens
must be taken.                              cans accounted for 87 percent of cases      in record rates without the appropriate
  Today we must recall the lessons we       reported in my district in 2000. I will     infrastructure or resources to address
have learned in the 20-year-long fight      let the Members know that African           it, particularly among African Ameri-
against HIV/AIDS, and pledge to build       Americans only represent 50.6 percent       cans.
upon that knowledge to take us for-         of my district.                               I am hopeful that before the onset of
ward, not backward. The treatment of          I have spoken with many people who        a 25th anniversary of this devastating
HIV/AIDS has changed, but its fatal         presently are suffering from HIV/AIDS,      disease, a vaccine will be available and
consequences have not.                      as well as health care providers, case-     accessible. I am hoping that before the
  It is time to reeducate our Nation. A     workers, representatives from commu-        25th anniversary occurs, the number of
new generation faces the threat of HIV/     nity-based organizations in my con-         the newly affected will be greatly di-
AIDS, a generation that never knew          gressional district. I have heard mov-      minished. I am hopeful before the 25th
the devastation that this disease cre-      ing testimony about the lack of re-         anniversary occurs also that the world-
ates. We must not allow them to repeat      sources to adequately address this pub-     wide pandemic of HIV/AIDS will have a
the mistakes that contributed to the        lic health crisis. There is a great need    death blow to far less individuals. We
rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in the first       to focus on prevention and accessible       have already lost 21 million people to
place.                                      and affordable treatment.                   this pandemic. I am hopeful that good
  Nor can individuals currently receiv-       According to a recent article in the      news indeed is on the horizon. I thank
ing HIV/AIDS therapies believe that         New York Times, while AIDS no longer        the gentleman for bringing this to the
their medications are in any way a          makes the Federal government’s list of      attention of the American people.
cure. That challenge still awaits us.       the 15 leading causes of death in the         Mr. RODRIGUEZ. I thank the gentle-
Until then, we must exercise every pre-     United States, it is the leading cause      woman from North Carolina for being
caution to slow the spread of this dis-     among African Americans ages 25             here tonight, and I thank her for the
ease.                                       through 35. HIV infections are rising       words she has said. As she talked about
  As we debate HIV/AIDS policy and          more among heterosexual women, par-         the fact that we have reached a point
funding, we must be motivated by the        ticularly in the rural south, where Fed-    where it impacts a whole bunch of
many changes that still lie ahead. If we    eral health officials say an influx of      other people, one of the worst statis-
do, we will accomplish more in the          crack and the sex-for-drug trade is         tics to see is that minority children
next 5 years than we did in the last 20     fueling the spread of the virus.            make up an astonishing 82 percent of
years. And Mr. Speaker, we must, be-          Treatment and prevention comes in         the new AIDS cases. These are our chil-
cause lives depend on it.                   all forms as fighting this disease takes    dren that are being hard hit.
  Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I             a comprehensive approach. We know             I yield to the gentlewoman from the
thank the gentlewoman from Cali-            that HIV/AIDS has affected many peo-        Virgin Islands (Mrs. CHRISTENSEN).
fornia (Ms. WOOLSEY) for coming out         ple through the practice of those ad-         Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I
here.                                       dicted to drugs exchanging used nee-        thank the gentleman from Texas for
  We have gotten so much interest that      dles. We need to address the drug ad-       yielding to me. It is great to see how
we have a good number of people out         diction problem. We need to focus on        many people are coming out to address
here, so I want to take this oppor-         prevention of drugs. We need to have a      this issue. It is the tip of the iceberg
tunity to yield to the gentlewoman          needle exchange program that makes          for the real concern and commitment
from North Carolina (Mrs. CLAYTON).         sense.                                      that many of our colleagues, particu-
  Mrs. CLAYTON. Mr. Speaker, I                We need to give all American a            larly those in both the Hispanic and
thank the gentleman for yielding to         healthy start so that risky behavior        Black Caucus, have to addressing this
me, and I thank my colleagues who or-       such as drug use and abuse and pros-        disease in our communities and really
ganized this with the gentleman from        titution can be decreased. A decrease       around the world.
Texas (Mr. RODRIGUEZ), who chairs the       in this unhealthy and risky behavior          I wanted to make mention of some of
Hispanic Caucus Health Task Force,          can help prevent the spread of HIV and      the things that have been said. The
and the gentlewoman from the Virgin         AIDS, and other STDs will also be di-       gentlewoman from California (Ms.
Islands (Mrs. CHRISTENSEN), the Chair       minished.                                   SANCHEZ) talked about her family
of the Congressional Black Caucus             In the same article mentioned ear-        member. In these 20 years that have
Health Brain Trust. I thank the gen-        lier, it stated that AIDS in this coun-     passed since the first cases were re-
tleman for organizing this very impor-      try is increasingly an epidemic of the      ported, there is hardly a family that
tant special order on HIV and AIDS.         poor, which means it is increasingly an     has not been touched by this disease.
  Mr. Speaker, this week is the 20th        epidemic of minorities. African Ameri-        In those 20 years, over 750,000 persons
anniversary of the discovery of the         cans, who make up just 13 percent of        have been diagnosed and reported with
virus. After 20 years, a vaccine is still   the population, now account for more        AIDS, and about half a million have
not on hand, and 20 years later, the Af-    than one-half; 13 percent, but one-half     died. These are all people who are
rican American population is dis-           of all HIV infections.                      brothers, sisters, wives, mothers. We
proportionately affected by this virus.       We need to get our churches in-           cannot forget, as we look at the large
  Mr. Speaker, my colleagues have           volved. In the African American com-        numbers, that these are human beings
mentioned some of the devastating sta-      munity, the church is the focal point.      that all have people who care about
June 5, 2001                         CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — HOUSE                                                      H2879
them and love them, and are affected       the efforts that we have made collabo-      radio station. With their general man-
when they are infected.                    ratively together. I am very proud to       ager, we have created a whole series of
  The gentlewoman from North Caro-         have joined the gentlewoman from            sessions or fares or programs or efforts
lina (Mrs. CLAYTON) talked about our       California (Ms. LEE), one of the speak-     throughout the community to focus on
rural areas. That is an area that needs    ers that will come forward, and those       testing, HIV testing. Have you been
some special attention, because a lot of   of us on the floor of the House as we       tested? Therefore we are going around
the programs that we do have and have      worked on issues like debt relief and       the community focusing on, encour-
brought about in these 20 years address    also the Marshall plan.                     aging people to be tested privately, of
the larger urban areas, but our rural        But as we have done that, we are con-     course; and we are doing that in con-
areas are left out. That is a challenge    tinuing to work and to talk about           junction with the City of Houston
for us as we go into the next decade.      questions of prescription drugs or the      health department.
  The gentlewoman mentioned the nee-       issue of being able to provide generic        I want to thank Dr. Kendricks and
dle exchange. We talked about the fact     drugs in a way that all people can have     Marilee P. Brown for acknowledging
that we went to the Kaiser Family          access to them.                             and declaring Houston as an emergency
Foundation and Ford Foundation sym-          Particularly, I want to note that this    center, an emergency crisis, if you will,
posium today, and one of the things        is a worldwide issue. Though we have        regarding AIDS about a year ago. Out
that they report in their survey is that   highlighted the continent of Africa,        of that, the consciousness of people in
more than 58 percent of the people that    knowing that 40 million children by         the community have been raised up to
they surveyed, a good statistical com-     2005 will be orphaned by those who are      begin to talk about it in the religious
ponent that represents the American        HIV infected and will have died in sub-     community as well as throughout the
public, 58 percent supported needle ex-    Sahara Africa, I also realize that this     community.
change programs.                           disease is spreading to India, it is          Our churches are engaged in talking
                  b 2130                   spreading to China, some of the largest     about how do we prevent the infection
                                           population centers in the world. If we      of HIV/AIDS, because we are finding
  Because we understand that it does       were to take it back home, it is par-
prevent the spread of AIDS; therefore                                                  that it is being promoted or it is being
                                           ticularly devastating to note that          encouraged by economic, cultural,
it prevents sickness and death. Many       women are the highest numbers of HIV
studies have proven, I think, conclu-                                                  legal and religious factors where people
                                           infected, particularly African-Amer-        have no control of it.
sively that it does not increase the       ican women and Latino women.
tendency to drug abuse, and indeed it                                                    About a quarter of all women report
                                             It is important to note that States       postponing medical care due to barriers
brings people into treatment further.      where one would not think or would
  So I turn it back over to the gen-                                                   such as sickness or lack of transpor-
                                           possibly begin to want to isolate           tation or lack of health care. It is trag-
tleman from Texas (Mr. RODRIGUEZ).         States, so that is an urban problem
  Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, no-                                                      ic to know that research, prevention
                                           versus a rural problem, there are over      efforts, education, substance abuse
body knows this issue better than the      50,000 reported AIDS cases in Texas
gentlewoman from the Virgin Islands                                                    treatment, and prevention programs
                                           alone. Over half of these are among
(Mrs. CHRISTENSEN), being a practi-                                                    need to be targeted towards women, es-
                                           blacks and Hispanics or over 50 percent
tioner also. I want to thank her for her                                               pecially African-American and His-
                                           of those with AIDS.
hard work.                                   In my district in particular in Texas,    panic women. So we need culturally
  Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, as        African Americans represent a stag-         sensitive programs. The same thing in
a social worker, the gentleman from        gering 64 percent reportable HIV infec-     India and China as it moves through-
Texas (Mr. RODRIGUEZ) has had a lot of     tions and 57 percent of the total cases     out the world, culturally sensitive pro-
experience with it as well. That is why    diagnosed in 2000. Even more fright-        grams.
we are glad to be able to collaborate      ening statistics is the fact that 84 per-     When we went to Africa, one of the
with him on these and other health         cent of the adolescents with reportable     issues that we discussed in Zambia and
care issues.                               HIV infection are African American.         Uganda was programs that related to
  Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, we             Women represent an estimated 30           the culture of Africans so that they
are looking forward to working with        percent of new HIV infections in the        would be eager to come and find out in-
the gentlewoman.                           United States and a growing share of        formation.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentle-      newly reported AIDS cases each year.          When I was in Botswana just a few
woman from Houston, Texas (Ms. JACK-       In 1986, women accounted for 67 percent     weeks ago, we found a center where a
SON-LEE). She is a dynamic person, al-     of the new AIDS cases. By 1999, women       gentleman living with HIV/AIDS was
ways on the issues, and we thank her       accounted for nearly a quarter of all       the chief spokesperson and outreach
for being here tonight.                    AIDS cases in this country. Worldwide,      coordinator. He was able to speak to
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr.            women account for 42 percent of all         his fellow Botswanans about the impor-
Speaker, let me thank the gentleman        AIDS cases which is nearly triple the       tance of prevention, but also testing
from Texas (Mr. RODRIGUEZ) for his         number 10 years ago. Although African       and removing the shackles and the bar-
leadership, leadership of being chair of   Americans and Latinos represent less        riers from that. Clearly, much remains
the Hispanic Caucus Health Com-            than a fourth of all women in the           to be done to fight the disease, and
mittee, the work he has done. We have      United States, they account for more        many look to African-American lead-
done work together on immunization         than a third of all reported AIDS cases.    ers in Congress for this guidance.
and children’s health issues. I thank      Women in the 18th district of Texas           A New York Times columnist re-
the gentlewoman from the Virgin Is-        and throughout Texas have not escaped       cently demanded that the so-called
lands (Mrs. CHRISTENSEN) who chairs        the epidemic. The percentage of Texas       leaders of the black community, the
the Congressional Black Caucus Task        women with AIDS increased from 14.3         politicians, the heads of civil rights or-
Force on Health.                           percent to 15.4 percent just between        ganizations, the preachers step forward
  It is important that we are here         1997 and 1999.                              and say in thundering tones that it is
today. But I imagine that all of us          It is important just to lay these par-    time to bring an end to this destructive
would wish that we were not. I think,      ticular issues on the table because I       behavior.
as evidenced by our message ‘‘20 years     hope that, as we emphasize 20 years of        Let me answer that by saying we are
of AIDS is enough’’, it points to the      AIDS is enough, again I say that we         all collectively standing up in the
fact that we are only here to be able to   focus on where do we go in the future.      fight. What we must do is collaborate
highlight the need for greater focus         What we have tried to do, Mr. Speak-      with government to be able to have the
and emphasis and recognition that it is    er, is to talk about prevention and to      resources and create the research and
not my problem, it is our problem. It is   break down the barriers that keep peo-      have the CDC continue to do its work
not his problem or her problem, it is      ple from understanding what AIDS is         along with the NIH on finding a cure
our problem.                               and how it can be prevented.                for AIDS.
  I will try to focus on where do we go      So in my community, let me applaud          Our voices have risen, and we need to
from here and some of the things and       a number of initiatives by Magic 102, a     be listened to. In this Congress, as we
H2880                                   CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — HOUSE                                                             June 5, 2001
begin to appropriate dollars, as we ap-       certainly none of us welcomes now—the 20th              African Americans have been hardest hit
propriate the Ryan White treatment            year of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Instead of the        women. Latinas have also been heavily af-
dollars, for all of us, we must ensure        eradication of the disease, we continue to face      fected. Although African Americans and
that those dollars will reach out to cul-     40,000 new infections per year, an increase in       Latinas represent less than a fourth of all
turally sensitive organizations such as       the disease among women, an infection rate           women in the U.S., they account for more
the Donald Watkins organization in            at plague proportions in Africa and a possible       than a third of all reported AIDS cases.
Houston that responds to the needs of         upswing in the disease among gay men. It has            Women in the 18th District of Texas, and
our particular cultural communities           left behind people such as David Swem at             throughout Texas, have not escaped this epi-
along with all of our others.                 Houston, who at 6 feet and a mere 1221⁄2             demic. The percentage of Texas women with
  Let me close by mentioning a gen-           pounds, has been able to fight AIDs since his        AIDS has increased from 14.3 percent to 15.4
tleman in my community that I pay             diagnosis in 1987 by taking 50 pills per day.        percent just between 1997 and 1999, 1999
tribute to as a symbol of someone who         But he has lost about 300 friends to the dis-        being the last full year for which data is avail-
has lived with AIDS and fights it every       ease. I will continue to cry out about this dis-     able. In my district, currently about 27 percent
day. David Swem in Houston, who is at         ease until it no longer exists.                      of new HIV infections are among African-
6 feet tall and a mere 1221⁄2 pounds has          More people have died from HIV/AIDs over         American women. A staggering 82 percent of
been able to fight AIDS, and he has           the last twenty years than from any other dis-       all HIV infections among women were in the
been fighting it since his diagnosis in       ease in history—21.8 million people. In this         African-American community. Similarly, 79
1987 by taking 50 pills per day. That is      country we have been able to slow the rate of        percent of the reported AIDS cases in women
overwhelming that that is what has to         AIDS’ deaths, but the disease is at crisis pro-      were among African-American women.
happen for people who are living with         portions in sub-Saharan Africa, where four-             Despite these steady increases in HIV/AIDS
AIDS. That is why it is so very impor-        fifths of those deaths have occurred—an aver-        cases among both women and children, fund-
tant for prevention and so very impor-        age of one death every eight seconds. The            ing for these groups has decreased. In
tant ultimately to find a cure.               Houston Chronicle reports that 95 percent of         FY1999, women and youth received 2.87 mil-
  Might I also say, as noted by the gen-      all AIDS cases are in the developing world,          lion in funding via Title IV of the Ryan White
tlewoman from North Carolina (Mrs.            and that this strain of AIDS could cause a           CARE act, and 2.72 million in FY2000.
CLAYTON), as chair of the Congressional       drastic explosion if it jumps to the Western            Many factors exacerbate women’s risk of
Children’s Caucus, there is nothing           world. More than 70 percent of all people liv-       HIV infection. Many women, particularly in
more devastating than an HIV-infected         ing with the disease, or 25.3 million HIV-posi-      areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, are espe-
child or a child that has full-blown          tive individuals, live in Africa. Over 10 percent    cially vulnerable to HIV infection because eco-
AIDS.                                         of the population is infected in sixteen African     nomic, cultural, legal or religious factors may
  Nkosi Johnson in South Africa, a                                                                 limit control over their lives and their ability to
                                              nations. The U.S. Census Bureau calculates
young man that we got to know some
                                              that by 2010, average life expectancy will be        protect themselves from infection, or to gain
2 years or so ago, recently died just a
                                              reduced by 40 years in Zimbabwe and Bot-             access to treatment. About a quarter of all
week or so ago, born with HIV from an
                                              swana, and in South Africa by 30 years. The          women report postponing medical care due to
HIV mother, transmitted through that
                                              disease destabilizes these nations by deci-          barriers such as sickness or lack of transpor-
HIV mother who could not take care of
                                              mating its workforce, destroying any economic        tation.
him, adopted by a loving South African
                                              prosperity, depleting its military and peace-           What more needs to be done? Research,
  Nkosi became the symbol of a pre-           keeping forces and leaving thousands of or-          prevention efforts and education and sub-
cocious child who wanted to stand up          phans.                                               stance abuse treatment and prevention pro-
and tell the world that he deserved dig-          The epidemic is not limited to Africa. In-       grams must be targeted towards women, es-
nity although he lived with full-blown        deed, the fastest growing front of the epidemic      pecially in the African-American and Hispanic
AIDS. Children such as Nkosi should be        is now in Russia, where the number of new in-        communities. These programs should include
enjoying a life filled with joy and           fections last year exceeded the total from all       research into female-controlled barrier meth-
laughter and happiness. Mandela said          previous years combined. In 2000, the number         ods, prevention efforts targeting young
in a recent statement, ‘‘On a fright-         of Russians living with HIV/AIDS skyrocketed         women, early comprehensive sex education
ening scale, HIV/AIDS is replacing that       from 130,000 to 300,000.                             and substance abuse treatment and preven-
joy, laughter and happiness with para-            The statistics are alarming in this country as   tion programs targeted to women.
lyzing pain.’’                                well. In its June 1, 2001 report, the CDC noted         We can also take an example from places
  Nkosi collapsed with brain damage           that AIDS in the United States remains pri-          such as the Thomas Street Clinic in Houston,
and viral infections. But before that, in     marily an epidemic affecting gay men and ra-         the nation’s first freestanding HIV/AIDS treat-
his short life, he contested the policies     cial and ethic minorities. Rates are high            ment facility. Thomas Street Clinic provides
that kept HIV-infected children out of        among minorities because factors such as             patients with access to a full range of serv-
public schools in South Africa. He            high poverty rates, unemployment, and lack           ices, including medical services, counseling,
talked about his infection, challenging       off access to health care form barriers to HIV       housing, job placement assistance and child
people to reexamine their fear of those       testing, diagnosis and treatment. The CDC            care. This clinic is a model for our nation, par-
inflicted with AIDS. He spoke at the          study also noted the alarming figure of an in-       ticularly for providers in disadvantaged, urban
World AIDS Conference in South Afri-          fection rate of 14 percent of young black gay        and minority areas.
ca, woke our collective consciouses up,       or bisexual men, based on a study in seven              Clearly, much remains to be done to fight
and began to acknowledge that it was          cities.                                              the disease, and many look to African Amer-
important to be able to fight this dis-           There are over 50,000 reported AIDS cases        ican leaders in Congress for this guidance.
ease in dignity.                              in Texas alone, and over half of these are              I am here to say that we are here, and we
  To Nkosi Johnson, in his loss, a            among blacks and Hispanics are over 50 per-          are pleading for an end to behaviors that lead
South African child but a child of the        cent of those with AIDS. In my district in           to HIV/AIDS, for better health care, for more
world, I believe that it should be our        Texas, African Americans represent a stag-           funding for research, treatment and prevention
tribute tonight that 20 years of HIV/         gering 64 percent of reportable HIV infections       and for desperately needed social services for
AIDS, full-blown AIDS is enough.              and 57 percent of the total cases diagnosed in       those whose lives have been upended by the
  So to the gentleman from Texas (Mr.         2000. An even more frightening statistic is the      infection. Congress cannot fight this disease
RODRIGUEZ) and the gentlewoman from           fact that 84 percent of the adolescents with re-     alone, but we are firmly committed to the bat-
the Virgin Islands (Mrs. CHRISTENSEN),        portable HIV infection are African-American.         tle.
might I say that tonight, as we speak             Women represent an estimated 30 percent             Mr. Speaker, I include the following
in acknowledgment of 20 years of HIV          of new HIV infections in the United States and       article for the RECORD as follows:
infection in this country and discovery       a growing share of newly reported AIDS cases          [From the Washington Post, June 2, 2001]
of the AIDS virus, that we also commit        each year. In 1986, women accounted for 7             NKOSI JOHNSON, 12, DIES; S. AFRICAN AIDS
ourselves, if we will, to continued legis-    percent of new AIDS cases. By 1999, women                            ACTIVIST
lative initiatives that collectively          accounted for nearly a quarter of all new AIDS            BOY BORN WITH HIV URGED OPENNESS
fights this devastating disease.              cases in this country. Worldwide, women ac-                     (By Susanna Loof)
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today on an occasion    count for 42 percent of all AIDS cases, which          JOHANNESBURG.—Nkosi Johnson, who was
that perhaps none of us foresaw in 1981 and   is nearly triple the number ten years ago.           born with HIV and became an outspoken
June 5, 2001                               CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — HOUSE                                                      H2881
champion of others infected with the AIDs         things that was mentioned by one of        HIV infections than the white commu-
virus, died Friday of complications of the        the doctors was that she had a par-        nity.
disease he battled for all 12 of his years.       ticular client that was told, and only
   Nkosi was praised for his openness about                                                                    b 2145
his infection in a country where people sus-      knew Spanish, and was told that she
                                                  was positive. She understood that as—        Ms. LEE. And we learned that this
pected of carrying the AIDS virus often are
shunned by their families and chased from         (the gentleman from Texas spoke in         disease was a global pandemic. It is dis-
their communities. Former South African           Spanish). She went ahead and had chil-     proportionately affecting people of
president Nelson Mandela called him an            dren. One of her children would up with    color, Latinos, African Americans. It is
‘‘icon of the struggle for life.’’                AIDS. The importance of cultural sen-      devastating the continent of Africa,
   ‘‘Children, such as Nkosi Johnson, should                                                 the Caribbean, Latin America, and it is
be enjoying a life filled with joy and laugh-
                                                  sitivity and language understanding I
                                                  think is key.                              a ticking time bomb in many devel-
ter and happiness,’’ Mandela said in a recent
                                                    I want to thank the gentlewoman          oping countries.
statement. ‘‘On a frightening scale, HIV/
AIDS is replacing that joy, laughter and hap-     from Texas for the other comments            The most important lesson we have
piness with paralyzing pain and trauma.’’         that she made. One of the key things I     learned is that HIV can be prevented
   Nkosi collapsed in December with brain         think that is important also is to un-     and it starts with breaking the silence.
damage and viral infections. His foster moth-     derstand that this is devastating          And once again I want to commend my
er, Gail Johnson, said he died peacefully in                                                 colleagues for helping us do that once
his sleep in the morning.
                                                  throughout all our communities, not
                                                  only in this country, but throughout       again tonight on the floor of Congress.
   ‘‘It is a great pity that this young man has
died. He was very bold,’’ Mandela said Fri-       the world when we look at sub-Sahara         Now, in my district in Alameda
day.                                              Africa, when we look at the province in    County, California, HIV/AIDS has dis-
   During his short life, Nkosi successfully      China, when we look at Brazil, when we     proportionately affected the African
contested the policies that kept HIV-infected     look at the border in Mexico.              American community. While the num-
children out of public schools. He talked           So it is a disease, it is a world dis-   ber of new diagnoses for virtually every
about his infection, challenging people to re-                                               segment of the population was declin-
examine their fear of those afflicted with
                                                  ease. It is a disease that we need to go
                                                  fight it wherever it is and that applies   ing, it was rapidly moving in the oppo-
   ‘‘He had an awareness of the threat to his     to all the infectious diseases, and that   site direction for African Americans in
life and the importance of his life in less-      is very important.                         Alameda County and also for the
ening the threat to other people with AIDS,’’       Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentle-      Latino community.
Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cam-           woman from California (Ms. LEE) who          According to data provided by the Al-
eron, who is also infected with the virus, told   is here with us, and we continue to get    ameda Department of Health and
the Associated Press in January.                  people that are coming in. I am real       Human Services in 1998, nearly 60 per-
   Parliament       passed    motions    Friday
                                                  pleased to see the number.                 cent of the new HIV infections were oc-
expessing regret and sadness at Nkosi’s
death, and the Congress of South African            Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise this        curring among African Americans,
Trade Unions said Nkosi ‘‘inspired all people     evening to join my colleagues to ac-       even though African Americans ac-
suffering from the disease.’’                     knowledge the 20th anniversary of the      count for only 18 percent of the coun-
   Nkosi was born Feb. 4, 1989, with the virus    first HIV/AIDS diagnosis in the United     ty’s population. Of the new infections
that causes AIDS. His mother could not af-        States. I first want to thank the gen-     in Alameda County, a growing number
ford to bring him up, and Johnson became          tleman from Texas (Mr. RODRIGUEZ),         of infections are occurring among
his foster mother when he was 2. Nkosi’s                                                     women. Through a community-wide
mother died of AIDS-related diseases in 1997.
                                                  my fellow social worker, and the gen-
   That same year, Johson and Nkosi success-      tlewoman from the Virgin Islands (Mrs.     initiative, a state of emergency task
fully battled to force a public primary school    CHRISTENSEN), our physician, who is        force was formed, and on November 4,
to admit him. The fight led to a policy for-      leading this very valiant effort on be-    1998, the Alameda County Public
bidding schools to discriminate against HIV-      half of the Congressional Hispanic Cau-    Health Officer declared a public health
positive children and to guidelines for how       cus and the Congressional Black Cau-       emergency on AIDS in Alameda Coun-
schools should treat infected pupils.             cus, because I believe in unity that we    ty’s African American community.
   Nkosi became internationally known with
                                                  will win. So I am very sober tonight         This designation led to Alameda
a speech at the opening of the 13th Inter-
national AIDS conference last July in Dur-        and very humbled by the joint efforts      County’s designation by the Depart-
ban, South Africa, in which he asked that         that we are mounting. I want to thank      ment of Health and Human Services as
AIDS sufferers no longer be stigmatized.          them for their leadership in this.         one of the 20 targeted metropolitan
   Nkosi helped raise money for Nkosi’s             Twenty years ago, the world learned      statistical areas and the disposition of
Haven, a Johannesburg Shelter for HIV-posi-       about a new disease. All that was          a crisis response team to aid in this ef-
tive women and their children. He was             known then was that this disease de-       fort. And I would suggest to my col-
crushed when a 3-month-old baby his foster
                                                  stroyed the human immune system,           leagues in the Congressional Black
mother cared for died of AIDS-related ill-
nesses.                                           and its ultimate outcome was un-           Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic
   ‘‘He hated seeing sick babies and sick chil-   known. Unfortunately, because this         Caucus to challenge your counties to
dren,’’ Johnson said.                             disease emerged in the United States       declare states of emergencies, because
   The experience led to his speech at the        primarily in the gay community, very       this is what we have on our hands and
AIDS conference, where he urged the South         little was done to curb the rate of new    we should have nothing less than a for-
African Government to start providing HIV-                                                   mally declared state of public health
                                                  infections because, quite frankly, of
positive pregnant women with drugs to re-
duce the risk of transmission of the virus        political policies during the Ronald       emergency where this pandemic is
during childbirth. About 200 HIV-positive         Reagan era. That is when we began to       wreaking havoc on our communities.
children are born in South Africa each day,       really wonder about this disease. But        Also, because of this designation,
but most die before they reach school age.        we did not do much then. We put our        several community-based organiza-
   A year later, the government is still study-   head in the sand.                          tions and AIDS service providers in my
ing proposals to use the drugs.                     Since then, we have learned that this    district have been awarded additional
   Johnson said Nkosi did more for AIDS suf-
                                                  disease could be transmitted through       resources, not enough, but additional
ferers in South Africa than anyone else.
   ‘‘Nkosi wanted people to know that in-         exposure to HIV-infected blood. We         resources to assist them in bringing
fected people, and especially children, de-       learned that transmissions were occur-     our local crisis to an end. In the 3 years
serve everything in the world,’’ she said.        ring through unprotected sex with          since Alameda County declared a pub-
‘‘His legacy is that we will care for them.’’     HIV-infected partners. We learned that     lic health emergency, HIV and AIDS
  Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I                   transmissions were occurring through       prevention efforts have been widely ex-
thank very much the gentlewoman                   blood transfusions where HIV-tainted       panded, and it is working. Some of our
from Texas (Ms. JACKSON-LEE). I want              blood products were used. We learned       community-based organizations are re-
to thank her also because I think she             that exposure to HIV was occurring         porting that they are now able to reach
mentioned some real key issues. One of            through shared needles and intra-          many highly vulnerable populations,
them deals with cultural sensitivity.             venous drug use. We learned that in the    such as sex workers, the incarcerated
  I recall back when we had some testi-           United States, poor minority commu-        populations, and youth to provide HIV
mony regarding AIDS, one of the                   nities were at a greater risk for new      and AIDS prevention and education.
H2882                                 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — HOUSE                                               June 5, 2001
  The Highland Hospital and the Magic       CHRISTENSEN), for her leadership in         son. Because we have youngsters who
Johnson AIDS Clinic have expanded           bringing to the attention of the Con-       were 13 then, they are 17 now, and they
their care and treatment services, in-      gress and of bringing our two caucuses      did not learn it then. We cannot as-
cluding providing lifesaving anti-          together to focus on where AIDS has         sume that this lesson has ever been
retroviral treatments to people living      spread and the changing face and color      taught.
with AIDS that were not receiving           of AIDS.                                      In the Congress, my colleagues know
these treatment services because they         I want to thank the gentleman from        that we have been successful with the
could not afford them. They are now         Texas especially for being at the Sun-      new treatments, and there may be
receiving them, and this has happened       day 20-year celebration, because I          some irony in that. It costs $10,000 to
in the last 3 years. AIDS organizations     think his speaking and my speaking          $12,000 a year per person. This is a pre-
and the county health department have       made the point we are trying to make        ventable disease. That is not the best
been able to step up their surveillance     here, and that is that this disease has     use for the health care dollars in our
efforts in order to have a more clear       changed radically in 20 years and we        communities or in our country. We
picture of who in Alameda County re-        are here this evening to make that          must teach the lesson of prevention so
mains at high risk for contracting          point. I appreciate that there will be      the health care dollars are not used for
AIDS.                                       other Members, so I will, therefore,        preventable diseases, but more often
  According to the Alameda County           speak rapidly.                              for many who suffer in our commu-
Department of Health and Human                The theme of what I want to say is        nities and our country from diseases
Services, in 1997, the risk for African     that after 20 years, we owe it to the al-   we still do not understand.
Americans to contract HIV was five          most million who have been infected in        We have been unwilling to get at the
times higher as compared to whites. In      this country, almost half of them dead      explicit nature of the education that
2000, that number has decreased to 4 to     of the disease, to stress prevention over   needs to take place. This is a country
1. This is slowly decreasing. And it is a   every other issue, because this is in-      that does not mind talking about sex
                                            deed a preventable disease. Members         very explicitly. We show sex, the sex
positive sign, but it is not zero yet.
                                            know the fight I have personally had in     act, to young children on TV in the
And that is where we want it. Increases
                                            my own district just to get needle ex-      daytime, but we will not talk about
in funding for surveillance have showed
                                            change, something that every sci-
that women account for 12 percent of                                                    condoms, we will not talk about safe
                                            entific organization believes is an im-
all AIDS cases in Alameda County.                                                       sex, we will not explain that to chil-
                                            portant way to prevent AIDS, espe-
However, what was not known was that                                                    dren. If we are not explicit about sex to
                                            cially since today 30 percent of the new
the incidence of transmission of AIDS                                                   teens, they are not listening to us.
                                            cases are women. That is something
through heterosexual sex is 47 percent.                                                 They get those messages from their
                                            that is radically different from 20 years
  Now, this year, the administration’s                                                  media. They need to get it from us so
                                            ago. And these women, of course, are
budget actually flat-funded our domes-                                                  that we can prevent this preventable
                                            getting AIDS largely through infected
tic HIV and AIDS programs, including                                                    disease.
                                            drug transmission.
the minority health initiative, which         The fact that at a time when we need        Our goals, as we continue the fight 20
was led by the Congressional Black          to be turning our attention to the de-      years later, are laid out for us. Upgrade
Caucus, and we put in many hours,           veloping world, and many of us in the       the downgraded White House AIDS Of-
many years of work under the leader-        Congressional Black Caucus, for exam-       fice, search for a cure, search for a vac-
ship of the gentlewoman from the Vir-       ple, have been working on AIDS in Af-       cine, get prescription drugs, get needle
gin Islands (Mrs. CHRISTENSEN), and we      rica because the continent is being de-     exchange, fight for hate crimes legisla-
must not let this be reversed back to       voured by the disease, the whole notion     tion, and for ENDA. But, above all, re-
the days when our heads were in the         that we would have to turn back to          member those who died before the mes-
sand.                                       teach some of the lessons of 20 years       sage of safe sex was even understood,
  The United States must move for-          ago is absolutely heartbreaking. Parts      and remember those who died before
ward, and we must not become compla-        of our community, particularly His-         there were protease inhibitors.
cent. We must increase funding for          panics and blacks, were never reached         The only way to remember them is
HIV/AIDS education and treatment            because they were never targeted. One       not simply by grieving for them, and
programs, and we must advocate for          of the reasons they were not targeted       tonight we do grieve for them, but by
the highest level of funding possible to    is because of the opprobrium that at-       pledging to them that we will move to
address our domestic AIDS crisis. Yes,      tended AIDS because it was seen as a        make sure that the 20-year anniversary
20 years of AIDS is really enough. Let      homosexual disease.                         is the beginning of yet another down-
us wipe it out.                               In both our communities there is          turn in the prevalence of this disease
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back and want        homophobia. And we in the Congres-          and that we ourselves will lead the
to once again thank the Congressional       sional Black Caucus and in the Con-         downturn by making that message
Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional       gressional Hispanic Caucus have an ob-      clear not only in this Congress but in
Black Caucus for again breaking the si-     ligation to stand against homophobia        our own communities.
lence.                                      first and foremost so that people can         Again, I thank both of my colleagues
  Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I             come out and understand that this dis-      for the service they have rendered the
thank very much the gentlewoman             ease can be prevented and so that they      Congress and the Nation this evening.
from California (Ms. LEE).                  can acknowledge the need for safe sex.        Mr. RODRIGUEZ. I want to thank
  Next, Mr. Speaker, I want to ask our      But today we are having to teach the        the gentlewoman once again. It was
District of Columbia representative         lessons to black and Hispanic gays that     real exciting to be out there with those
(Ms. NORTON) to come over. I had the        we taught, we thought, to white gays        marchers that came in on Sunday. It
pleasure of being with her on Sunday        20 years ago, because the lessons were      was a great opportunity to participate
on the lawn where we had a march that       not learned by them.                        and to begin to bring to light the fact
came in. We had several hundred people        We have one of the best, indeed a         that we still continue to fight on this
that came in, and it was a pleasure         world-renowned AIDS clinic here, the        issue. The Center for Disease Control
there being with the gentlewoman. I         Whitman-Walker Clinic. It should be         has estimated that we still have over
know that we had a large number of          downsizing. Instead of reaching to          900,000 people in the United States that
people trying to bring the news about       white gay and bisexual men it is now        are infected with AIDS.
the fact that 20 years is enough, and so    having to reach to black gay and bisex-       I also want to take this opportunity
I thank her for being here tonight with     ual men. How heartbreaking it was to        to recognize one of my colleagues from
us.                                         read that gay men in San Francisco,         Texas, the chairman of the Congres-
  Ms. NORTON. Well, let me first            the most conscious gay population in        sional Hispanic Caucus, and to thank
thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr.         the world, is having an uptick in the       him for his leadership in the caucus
RODRIGUEZ), and I want to thank my          epidemic. These are white gays.             and for his being here tonight.
good colleague as well, the gentle-           What this teaches us is that every 3        Mr. REYES. Mr. Speaker, I want to
woman from the Virgin Islands (Mrs.         or 4 years we better teach the same les-    thank my colleague, the gentleman
June 5, 2001                          CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — HOUSE                                                    H2883
from Texas (Mr. RODRIGUEZ), chair of          The Congressional Hispanic, Black,       legislation we are putting forth today
the Congressional Hispanic Caucus           and Asian Pacific Caucuses have re-        is bearing the fruit of that.
Health Task Force, for all his hard         sponded to the need for targeted initia-     I join the gentleman in putting forth
work and leadership on this issue and       tives by collaborating to establish the    the $540 million request for the Minor-
other issues that affect his community      Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative, which        ity AIDS Initiative. I do not want any-
and minority communities all across         addresses the critical need for preven-    body to think that any minority access
the country. The gentleman has dem-         tion and care resources in communities     to AIDS is only to that pot of money.
onstrated true passion and determina-       of color, where the majority of new        That is the entry level to the bigger
tion in ensuring that the health needs      AIDS cases are occurring.                  pot of money. So it opens the door to
of Hispanics and all minorities all           Our caucuses, along with other pol-      all of the other billions of dollars that
across the country are met.                 icymakers, health care professionals       are available. It is necessary to have
  In addition, I want to thank the gen-     and advocates will continue to work to     that door opening, and I thank my col-
tlewoman from Texas (Ms. EDDIE BER-         increase Federal spending for HIV/         leagues for that.
NICE JOHNSON), the gentlewoman from         AIDS programs, such as the Minority          Mr. Speaker, I did have an oppor-
the Virgin Islands (Mrs. CHRISTENSEN),      AIDS Initiative and Ryan White Care        tunity to speak on the floor earlier
of the Congressional Black Caucus, and      Act. I urge my colleagues to support       today on this, but I wanted to com-
the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. WU)          the $540 million request for fiscal year   mend the caucuses for their leadership
and the gentleman from Guam (Mr.            2002 for Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative      on this; and I look forward to working
UNDERWOOD), of the Congressional            and other resources needed in the fight    with them as an appropriator and as a
Asian Pacific American Caucus, for          against this deadly disease. These re-     member of one of the caucuses, for in-
their leadership and collaboration that     sources must be dramatically increased     creased funding, for improving the
has brought us here today to reflect on     to keep pace with the changing epi-        quality of life, and for ending this ter-
the importance of this date.                demic and to work toward the elimi-        rible pandemic.
  As chair of the Congressional His-        nation of both the health disparities        Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I
panic Caucus, I am here to commemo-         between ethnic and racial groups and       want to ask the gentlewoman from the
rate the first reported AIDS cases in       the disease all together.                  Virgin Islands (Mrs. CHRISTENSEN) if
our country some 20 years ago. On this        Again I thank my colleagues, the         she would like to make any closing re-
date, we not only remember those who        gentleman from Texas (Mr. RODRIGUEZ)       marks.
have died and those whose lives are         and the gentlewoman from the Virgin          Mrs. Christensen. Mr. Speaker, there
being affected by HIV/AIDS but also to      Islands (Mrs. CHRISTENSEN).                is one area of the world which has been
continue to raise awareness about the         Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I            left out of this discussion tonight, and
devastating impact this disease has         thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr.        that is the Caribbean. It is second only
had on minority communities across          REYES), who has been very instru-          to Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of the
the country.                                mental in pushing for an additional        rates of HIV and AIDS. 35 percent of
  According to the Centers for Disease      $540 million, and I thank the gen-         those infected are women compared to
Control and Prevention, AIDS has            tleman for taking the leadership. Both     23 percent in this country, and that
taken the lives of more than 21 million     the Hispanic and Black Caucus will be      number is rising. It is the leading cause
people around the world, including          holding hearings next week on this         of death between the ages of 15 and 44.
450,000 Americans, since it was first di-   issue, and we will continue to move          Mr. Speaker, of the United States
agnosed in 1981. An estimated 1 million     forward.                                   territories in the Caribbean, both the
Americans have been infected since the        Mr. Speaker, tonight we have the dis-    Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are in
virus began spreading quickly in the        tinct pleasure of having the gentle-       the top five in terms of incidence for
early 1980s through unprotected sex, in-    woman from California (Ms. PELOSI).        AIDS. I want to make sure that the
travenous drug use, blood transfusions,     Today alone, over 100 colleagues joined    Caribbean is not left out of the discus-
and other workplace accidents.              the gentlewoman in her efforts to re-      sion.
  I have heard others say that this         introduce the early treatment of HIV/        Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I
deadly virus does not care about the        AIDS.                                      yield to the gentlewoman from Texas
color, age, gender or sexual preference       We know that too many underinsured       (Ms. JACKSON-LEE).
of individuals. However from July 1999      and uninsured Americans do not have          Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr.
to June of 2000, African Americans and      access to life-saving medications. We      Speaker, I congratulate both of my col-
Hispanics have accounted for nearly 70      need to eliminate the barriers to early    leagues for this outstanding hour. Mr.
percent of new HIV infections. The dis-     drug therapy for vulnerable popu-          Speaker, I also want to congratulate
proportionate effects of the virus          lations, and this legislation would give   the gentlewoman from California (Ms.
among Hispanics and other minorities        the States the option to add HIV/AIDS      PELOSI). When people hear numbers
today continue to grow. Hispanics cur-      to eligible categories for Medicaid cov-   like 500 million, then begin to suggest
rently represent 20 percent of all new      erage. It is a very important piece of     exaggeration, this is a crisis.
AIDS cases, even though we only make        legislation.                                 I think it is important to note the
up 13 percent of the United States pop-       Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, we have         leadership of Dr. Satcher, the U.S. Sur-
ulation.                                    talked about early intervention, early     geon General, his leadership on this
                                            intervention; and this legislation         issue, and the Office of Minority
                 b 2200                     would enable this to happen.               Health; and it will be very important
  Hispanics are the fastest growing           Mr. Speaker, I rise as a member of       that the Secretary of Health and
segment of the U.S. population and the      the Asian Pacific American Islander        Human Services works with this team,
Centers for Disease Control report that     Caucus in joining my colleagues and        the gentlewoman from California (Ms.
HIV exposure risks for U.S.-born His-       commending the gentleman from Texas        PELOSI) and the gentleman from Texas
panics and Hispanics born in other          (Mr. RODRIGUEZ) and the gentlewoman        (Mr. RODRIGUEZ) and the gentlewoman
countries vary greatly, indicating a        from     the   Virgin     Islands  (Mrs.   from the Virgin Islands and the rest of
need for specifically targeted preven-      CHRISTENSEN) for their leadership on       us on pursuing this effort in making
tion efforts consistent with the values     this important issue.                      sure that we have these funds to solve
and beliefs of these communities.             This Special Order tonight represents    this problem. I simply wanted to say
These include language-appropriate          the changing face of AIDS. When I          that.
educational materials and health care       came to Congress 14 years ago this           I thank my local community as well,
professionals who have had training on      week, thousands of people had already      Ernie Jackson and others for their
the cultural factors that can make a        died in my district. It was largely a      great leadership.
difference in the treatment and preven-     gay man’s disease.                           Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I
tion of this disease among Hispanics          We tried to teach the rest of the        thank all my colleagues who have par-
and minorities all across the country       country what we learned about preven-      ticipated. It is an issue on which we all
and the world.                              tion, care, and research. Some of the      need to take ownership. It is about all
H2884                                       CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — HOUSE                                                                 June 5, 2001
of us. It has an impact on all of us. It           those seen in sub-Saharan Africa. A recent              no longer a serious threat. Moreover, while
is throughout the world. If we have                CDC study reported that 30 percent of gay               those strides were real, the medical miracles
these kinds of dangerous, infectious               black men between ages 23 and 29 were HIV-              that were discovered were not available to ev-
diseases throughout the world, we need             positive. Among HIV-positive women in Illinois,         eryone. The high cost of drugs and the lack of
to go after them.                                  more than 80 percent are non-white—a sta-               availability of adequate quality healthcare re-
   Ms. MILLENDER-MCDONALD. Mr. Speaker,            tistic that could not more starkly demonstrate          main significant barriers to real progress.
today I rise to express my concern about the       the disproportionate havoc that HIV/AIDS is                As we look back over these twenty years
HIV/AIDS global pandemic. While this disease       wreaking in communities of color.                       we see an all too real killing field of lives lost
devastates the citizens of Sub-Saharan Africa,        While I commend the administration for its           across the globe. An estimated 21.8 million
we also need to direct our attention to the ris-   focus on HIV/AIDS in Africa, more must be               people have died as a result of this virus. Cur-
ing numbers of HIV/AIDS cases in the U.S.          done to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS in minority          rently, 36.1 million people are living with HIV/
Today, Mr. Speaker, in addition to accounting      communities in this country. The President’s            AIDS; almost half of those diagnosed are
for more than half of the cumulative HIV/AIDS      budget takes a step backwards in the fight              women, and over 1.6 million are children. I ap-
cases, people of color also represent two          against HIV/AIDS by freezing the Ryan White             plaud the recent efforts of major pharma-
thirds of new HIV/AIDS cases reported in this      AIDS program funding. This is the first time            ceutical companies through the ‘‘Accelerating
country.                                           Ryan White funding has not been increased               Access’’ and ‘‘Secure The Future’’ initiatives
   In the U.S., two lives are lost every hour in   since the programs inception.                           that offer hope to African patients in nine
the war against HIV/AIDS. Twenty years ago            The second lesson we learned from the is             countries both in terms of access to new
today, the CDC reported 5 cases of AIDS.           that HIV/AIDS knows no national boundaries.             medications at realistic costs and the develop-
However, as of June 2000, there were seven         Sub-Saharan Africa is being ravaged by HIV/             ment of an infrastructure system that can de-
hundred fifty three thousand nine hundred and      AIDS. More than 25 million Africans are now             liver care. I am also encouraged to see and
seven reported cases of AIDS in the U.S. Of        living with HIV and last year alone, 2.4 million        hear the commitment of this Administration to
these reported cases, AIDS has claimed the         Africans died from the disease. We must as-             the cause of fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa.
lives of four hundred and thirty-eight thousand    sist Africa in its fight against HIV/AIDS or we            In the United States the casualty list from
nine hundred and seventy-five American citi-       will reap what we sow.                                  HIV/AIDS is smaller yet no less significant. Ac-
zens. World-Wide the figure is twenty-two mil-        The third lesson HIV/AIDS taught us is that          cording to the latest study released by the
lion.                                              HIV/AIDS is that no group is protected. During          CDC, almost 754,000 people are living with
   The exponential growth in deaths, clearly in-   the early stages of the HIV/AIDS epidemic               HIV/AIDS in the US: 438,795 people have
dicate that the time for action is now. Although   many naively believed that HIV/AIDS was a               died from HIV/AIDS over the past twenty
technology, medicine, and research have in-        ‘‘gay man’s disease.’’ This mistake led to a            years. HIV/AIDS has become the leading
creased the life span of HIV positive victims,     false sense of security among many who were             cause of death for African Americans between
I am concerned about the staggering number         actually engaging in risky behaviors such as            the ages of 25 and 44. African Americans are
of new AIDS cases in the US. In the last dec-      IV drug use and unprotected sex. Unfortu-               10 times more likely than whites to be diag-
ade, the proportion of all AIDS cases reported     nately, many were infected before they real-            nosed with HIV/AIDS and also 10 times more
among adult and adolescent women more              ized they were at risk. We must not make this           likely to die from it.
than tripled, from 7 percent in 1985 to 23 per-    same mistake again. Any increased incidence
                                                                                                              New York State and New York City still
cent in 1999, with the most dramatic increase      of HIV/AIDS amongst a segment of the popu-
                                                                                                           have the largest number of HIV/AIDS in the
occurring among women of color. Among 15–          lation is unacceptable.
                                                                                                           country and, my congressional district has the
24-year-olds, AIDS is the 7th leading cause of        Finally, the fourth lesson HIV/AIDS has
                                                                                                           highest incidence of new HIV/AIDS cases of
death. These figures highlight the gravity of      taught us is that our discomfort with address-
                                                                                                           any area in New York City. For example,
the crisis related to HIV/AIDS and its impact      ing taboo issues can result in the loss of many
                                                                                                           Brownsville has more people living with HIV/
on our country.                                    lives. It is clear that HIV/AIDS is transmitted
                                                                                                           AIDS than 12 states. It has the second highest
   Mr. Speaker, we are at a crucial time in this   through unprotected sex and IV drug use.
                                                                                                           number of blacks living with HIV/AIDS in all of
war against HIV/AIDS. Tragically, this disease     However, due to this country’s inability to ad-
                                                                                                           New York City. In addition, East New York has
debilitates everyone it infects. The most trou-    dress many of these sensitive issues, preven-
                                                                                                           the third highest population of women living
bling fact is that there are few of us who have    tive efforts have suffered. We must openly ad-
                                                                                                           with HIV/AIDS. As much as we have done to
been unaffected in some way by this disease.       dress risk factors of HIV/AIDS. To let our per-
                                                                                                           combat this virus, both in the US and abroad,
Today as we approach the 20th anniversary of       sonal discomfort with these subjects stymie
                                                                                                           we must do more. That is why I am pleased
HIV/AIDS in the US, I would like to alert my       prevention and education is unacceptable.
                                                                                                           that local community based organizations like
fellow Americans of the persistent nature of          We hold the keys to our fate based on
                                                                                                           New World Creations Resource Center, Inc.
this disease. Unfortunately, it has become a       these lessons of the past. If we learn from
                                                                                                           are sponsoring a rally and march, ‘‘the AIDS
familiar part of America’s culture. I believe we   these lessons, we can defeat HIV/AIDS. But,
                                                                                                           walk for the Caribbean’’ on July 1 to highlight
must reassess our efforts and recommit our-        if we fail to heed our mistakes, we will ulti-
                                                                                                           the continuing HIV/AIDS crisis in African-
selves to fighting this illness. We must work      mately suffer more death and destruction over
                                                                                                           American and Caribbean-American commu-
collectively to promote education, prevention      the next twenty years. The future is ours to
                                                                                                           nities in New York.
and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Finally, I ask each     shape.
of us to stand together to remember the vic-          Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, today is a very                 I hope that in five years when we mark the
tims who have succumbed to this disease,           sad day as we remember what it was like be-             next milestone in the history of this dreaded
and those individuals who wage valiant and         fore that time twenty years ago when our                disease, we have something positive to report.
courageous battles to overcome their affliction.   friends and neighbors, acquaintances and co-            Until that time, I urge my colleagues to join me
   Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, today marks the          workers began to fall gravely ill in what should        in redoubling our efforts to promote preven-
twentieth anniversary of the first reported HIV/   have been the prime of their lives. It is hard          tion, education and treatment for HIV/AIDS.
AIDS cases in the United States. On June 5,        to remember that time before we had parades,            This is a battle that we must continue for the
1981 Federal researchers reported a baffling       rallies, walks and forums specifically devoted          future of our nation and for the world at large.
new disease that, over the next 20 years,          to raising desperately needed awareness and
would claim more than 20 million lives world-      money to pay for potential remedies to battle                           f
wide, including nearly 11,000 in Chicago and       this global pandemic. In the early days it
40,000 in Illinois. The last 20 years have         seemed that we fought fear, discrimination, ru-                   LEAVE OF ABSENCE
taught this country many hard lessons, some        mors and gossip almost as much or more than
of which we continue to fail to grasp.             the virus itself. Today, while we are still fight-        By unanimous consent, leave of ab-
   The first lesson we learned was that HIV/       ing those battles, there have been great                sence was granted to:
AIDS disproportionately impacts minority com-      strides in the efforts to control this insidious ill-     Mr. SHERMAN (at the request of Mr.
munities and women. HIV/AIDS has become            ness. Nevertheless, this is no time for back-           GEPHARDT) for today on account of
the leading cause of death for African-Amer-       slapping as the strides that were made are              business in the district.
ican men ages 25–44. Gay black men are             falling victim to the misguided belief—particu-           Mr. BURTON of Indiana (at the re-
contracting HIV/AIDS at rates comparable to        larly among young people—that HIV/AIDS is               quest of Mr. ARMEY) for today and the

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