Saturday, May 29, 2010

Amendment to Health Care Bill

So, apparently the new amendment for the health care bill is to provide free public housing for HIV/AIDs patients. H. Con. Res. 137 passed in the House on May 24, and is pending in the Senate. HIV spreads through behavioral choices (i.e. intravenous drug use, unprotected sex) Can someone explain to me how giving free housing paid for by tax payers is really going to slow the spread of the disease?

The bill text says,

Whereas homeless and unstably housed persons are 2 to 6 times more likely to use hard drugs, share needles...

They aren't using hard drugs because they are homeless, they are homeless because they are using hard drugs. Does Congress think that these people are going to get some free housing and all of a sudden make better life choices and stop using hard drugs? (And for those who started using hard drugs after becoming homeless, then obviously they are making poor life choices by wasting their resources that could have been spent on housing or food) Many of these people have shown that drugs are more important than having housing because they chose to buy drugs instead of paying rent.
Even still, the logic of this bill doesn't make sense. If homelessness is the symptom, why not provide free housing to all homeless, or all intravenous drug users (for the record, I am not advocating this; just illustrating a point)?


Bach said...

The saddest thing to me is that I bet some homeless people who are not HIV positive will seek to acquire the virus just so they can get free housing.

Sal said...

It just seems backwards to me that politicians think that providing them with free housing is somehow going to slow the spread of the disease. Suddenly, all their other risky behaviors are going to stop once they have more privacy. This doesn't seem likely.