Obama Reverses Himself on Needle Exchange

AIDS activists are furious and showed it by taking over the Capitol rotunda this morning. John Aravosis has the background:

Candidate Obama said he would help overturn the ban on needle exchange. President Obama reversed himself and banned federal funding for needle exchanges in his budget this year.

The quote from Obama’s spokesman is priceless:

Obama, during the primary campaign, pledged his support of needle exchange programs to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS. When he took over the White House, the administration website affirmed: “The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users.”

Yet Obama’s budget includes language that bans spending federal money on needle-exchange programs.

White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said the administration isn’t yet ready to lift the ban – but Obama still supports needle exchange.

“We have not removed the ban in our budget proposal because we want to work with Congress and the American public to build support for this change,” he said.

Let’s see…

1. The candidate promised to lift the ban.
2. The White House Web site reaffirmed the president’s commitment to lifting the ban.
3. The White House Web site no longer reaffirms his commitment to lifting the ban.
4. The president now refuses to lift the ban.
5. The president actually affirmatively makes things worse by administratively supporting defending the ban.
6. The spokesman reiterates the president’s support for lifting the ban, some day, once Congress gets around to it.

Sound familiar?


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