Sunday, June 29, 2014

Seeking to fluff his sagging reelection campaign, Gov. Cuomo exploits AIDS epidemic for votes

PUBLISHED : SUN, 29 JUN 2014, 07:52 PM
UPDATED : MON, 30 JUN 2014, 12:10 PM

It's been 25 years since Andrew Cuomo led the charge on an AIDS initiative.


Cuomo Plan Seeks to End New York’s AIDS Epidemic (The New York Times)

Gov. Cuomo is paying for the stepped up fight against AIDS by having first made radical cuts to Medicaid and and by hospital closings.

This week-end, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to end the AIDS epidemic in New York State by the year 2020.

How nice of him to revisit the AIDS crisis after a 25 year sabbatical. The last time Andrew Cuomo spearheaded an AIDS initiative was in 1989, when he led the charge to build a segregated health facility for people with AIDS.

This was at a time when there was a rise in AIDS phobia, and it seemed like putting people with AIDS into isolation or in sub-par health facility situations was another form of reactionary discrimination.

It's difficult to know how much money Gov. Cuomo is dedicating to his plan to end AIDS. In an article in The New York Times, the Cuomo administration said $5 million has been set aside from Medicaid and the state's AIDS Institute. But according to information on the Housing Works Web site, the Cuomo administration proposed to cut $12 million from the AIDS Institute in the new budget. Ooops !

It's great that Gov. Cuomo wants to join with healthcare activists to end the AIDS epidemic. But, the last time Gov. Cuomo made healthcare promises, he promised to save hospitals in Brooklyn. But then he let Long Island College Hospital close down. Ooops !

Besides people with AIDS, people of color have been calling on Gov. Cuomo to do the right thing on healthcare.

As a gay man, I'd love nothing more than to see an end to the AIDS epidemic. Why Gov. Cuomo's plan is coming 25 years too late, and why he's paying for it by closing more and more Brooklyn hospitals is not clear.

What is clear is that Gov. Cuomo's announcement was timed for today's Gay Pride Parade, giving the governor an opportunity to hand-out all these campaign-looking signs to parade supporters to hold up for the cameras.

How thoughtful.

He must be looking for votes.

But I wonder how many lives could have been saved if decades ago "LGBT for Cuomo" were the campaign signs being used, instead of "Vote for Cuomo, not the Homo."

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