DDI-CJ-Needle-Exchange-Inherency

DDI-CJ-Needle-Exchan - Dartmouth 2K9 1 The House repealed the prohibition on needle exchange but its too restrictive to work Lillis staff writer

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Dartmouth 2K9 1 The House repealed the prohibition on needle exchange, but it’s too restrictive to work Lillis , staff writer, 07-31 (Mike Lillis, staff writer, 07-31-2009, “Congress Looks to Lift Two-Decade Ban on Federal Needle Exchange Funds,” Washington Independent, http://washingtonindependent.com/53339/congress-looks-to-lift-two-decade-ban-on-federal-needle-exchange-funds ) When the House of Representatives last week passed legislation lifting a 21-year-old prohibition on federal funding for needle exchange programs , some ban critics cheered the move as a long step toward curbing the spread of blood-borne diseases like HIV. Yet the proposal moving through Congress , according to many health and human rights advocates, has been diluted to the point that it won’t help the same urban areas most afflicted by those illnesses. “It’s too restrictive,” said Allan Clear, executive director of the Harm Reduction Coalition, an advocacy group. “You couldn’t open a program in Washington, D.C. — or most any urban area — with these restrictions.” That’s because the House bill , while repealing the ban on federal money for needle exchanges, also prohibits such programs from operating within 1,000 feet of schools, daycare centers and other areas where children are likely to congregate . The sponsor of the 1,000-foot stipulation, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), included the restriction, not because he supports it, but to appease conservative critics who might have killed the entire provision otherwise. Yet needle exchange supporters argue that the geographic restraints are so expansive that they’ll neuter most benefits that would come with allowing federal funding of clean-needle programs. “As a practical matter, you won’t be able to have needle exchange in the city ,” said Rebecca Schleifer, advocate for the health and human rights division at Human Rights Watch. “There are schools and daycare centers everywhere.” The restrictions , she added, make the bill “meaningless as a practical matter, even if it’s important as a symbolic matter.” The Senate version of the bill includes the ban—an actual lifting of the ban won’t come until September Lillis , staff writer, 07-31 (Mike Lillis, staff writer, 07-31-2009, “Congress Looks to Lift Two-Decade Ban on Federal Needle Exchange Funds,” Washington Independent, http://washingtonindependent.com/53339/congress-looks-to-lift-two-decade-ban-on-federal-needle-exchange-funds ) The proposal, which doesn’t earmark any funding for needle exchange programs, passed the House last Friday by a vote of 264 to 153. The Senate’s version of the Labor-HHS funding bill , which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, retains the needle-funding ban. Needle exchange supporters on and off Capitol Hill are hoping to remove the geographic restrictions when the two chambers meet to hash out the differences between the two bills — a process that won’t arrive until September, at the earliest. Last printed
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This note was uploaded on 12/20/2010 for the course K 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at UMass Lowell.

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DDI-CJ-Needle-Exchan - Dartmouth 2K9 1 The House repealed the prohibition on needle exchange but its too restrictive to work Lillis staff writer

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