Annals of Health Law
ACHIEVING AN AIDS-FREE GENERATION
officials a formal role in funding decisions “would jeopardize that delicate
The final problem with the language of the modified ban is its prohibition
on using federal funds for SEPs in locations deemed “inappropriate” without
defining the term “inappropriate” or “appropriate” in the statute or in the
HHS Guidelines.128 The House and Senate Joint Appropriations Committee
removed a proposed “1,000-foot Rule”129 that would have prohibited
operation of an SEP within 1,000 feet of a public or private daycare center,
elementary school, vocational school, secondary school, college, junior
college or university; or within 1,000 feet of any public swimming pool, park,
playground, video arcade or youth center, or an event sponsored by any such
entity.130 Although it severely limited possible siting for SEPs—especially
within urban environments—the 1,000-foot proposed rule is the only clue as
to appropriate location requirements.131 Given the lack of guidance, the
difference between “public health imperatives” and “law enforcement
agendas” could, again, result in varying definitions of an “inappropriate”
location for purposes of eligibility for federal funding.132
Because of these three problems with the language of the modified ban,
even if President Obama reinstated his modified provision into the
Consolidated Appropriations Act, its effectiveness as a tool for true SEP
promotion is limited. Additionally, as discussed in the next section, using the
appropriations process itself is unlikely to bring about the support for SEPs
that is needed to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
127. See id.
128. Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-117, § 505, 123 Stat.
129. Darryl Fears, House Passes Bill that Lifts Ban on Using Federal Money for Needle
Exchanges, WASH. POST, July 25, 2009, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
dyn/content/article/2009/07/24/ AR2009072403632.html (noting that while the House Bill
removed the ban on federal funding for SEPs, a 1,000-foot rule would prevent SEPs in
Washington D. C. from operating in the city).
130. Ryan Grim, House Dems Reverse Obama, Remove Ban on Needle Exchange
Funding, HUFFINGTON POST (Aug. 10, 2009), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/10/
house-dems-reverse-obama_n_229551.html. But “[t]his restriction is really designed to shut
down” needle exchange programs, rather than identify “appropriate” locations. Id.; see also
Mike Lillis, Congress Looks to Lift Two-Decade Ban on Federal Needle Exchange Funds,
WASH. IND. (July 31, 2009), http://washingtonindependent.com/53339/congress-looks-to-lift-
two-decade-ban-on-federal-needle-exchange-funds (accusing House Appropriations
Chairman David Obey of including the ban to “appease conservative critics”). Id.
131. See Fears, supra note 129. As a practical matter, the 1,000-foot rule could have
prevented existing SEPs who operated within that boundary from obtaining federal funding
unless they relocated.