CAN YOU READ THIS?
I’m working on a newsletter piece. I’m aiming for an 8th grade reading level (don’t want anyone to have to work too hard), but Microsoft Word says this is at grade 10.6. I tried to avoid excessive convolution, obfuscation, syllablization, and bloviation*, but still, the reading level is too high. Tell me, can you read this?
The New Democratic Majority: Will It Make a Difference?
If you watched the State of the Union speech on TV in January, you heard the President talk about AIDS in third world countries. To his credit, Mr. Bush created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and has poured far more money into fighting AIDS in Africa than any previous administration.
What about AIDS in the United States?
Nearly half a million people in the U.S. are living with AIDS. There are Americans with AIDS in every state going without medicine or regular doctor visits, and even without housing or food. Yet you don’t read about them in the newspaper. And the government doesn’t seem to notice.
The Ryan White CARE Act, a 1990 law that provides money for medical treatment, drugs, and related services to AIDS patients, has been flat-funded for six years. In December the Congress reauthorized the law, renaming it the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006.
Changes made to the law increased the number of people eligible to receive services. While that is good news, there’s a catch. Not enough additional funding was added in the President’s 2008 budget proposal. That means that some agencies serving AIDS patients will actually get less money this year.
The Democratic Party now holds the majority in the House and the Senate. Although they could make AIDS in the United States a priority, we haven’t seen any evidence that they will.
In February the Congress approved more money for global efforts to combat AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria than the President’s budget requested. But the domestic AIDS crisis is nowhere on the agenda. New Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from San Francisco, has a long history of advocating for people with AIDS in California. However, if she is planning to continue that advocacy for the whole nation, she’s keeping it to herself.
Similarly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid supported a funding increase for PEPFAR and other overseas health efforts, but has been largely silent about AIDS at home.
We can’t count on our elected officials to ensure that our friends and neighbors with AIDS in Washington State have adequate housing, nutrition, care, and medicine. We the People must continue to look out for one another. We at (Nifty Agency) are committed to continue offering our care and support to those in need, for as long as the need exists.
Clear? Boring? What?
*Bloviate: To speak or write verbosely or windily.