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May 18, 1998

H.R. 1023 - Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act of 1998
(Rep. Goss (R) FL and 270 cosponsors)

The Administration is very concerned about the individuals with hemophilia and their families who suffered because of the transmission of HIV through blood and blood products in the 1980s. Although the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) found no negligence on the part of U.S. Government officials, the IOM did conclude that the entire public health system, including both the private and public sectors, may have missed opportunities to further reduce the risk of HIV infection from blood products.

The Administration will be pleased to work with the Congress to develop an appropriate way to assist those infected with HIV through the use of blood and blood products in the 1980s. In developing a bipartisan program, such as H.R. 1023, a number of important issues of policy as well as numerous technical and statutory issues will need to be addressed, including the ramifications of the precedent that would be set and how to pay for the assistance. We look forward to working with Congress to address these issues.


H.R. 1023 would increase direct spending; therefore it is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirement of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. OMB's preliminary estimate is that the bill would increase direct spending by $1 million in FY 1998 and a total of $15 million during FYs 1998-2002. The bill does not contain provisions to offset the increased direct spending. Therefore, the Administration will work with Congress to develop appropriate offsets.