NAMES & FACES: AIDS CZAR; HCFA/AHCPR LEADERS
President Clinton is leaning toward appointing Phill Wilson,This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
co-founder of Los Angeles' National Black Gay and Lesbian
Leadership Forum, as the new AIDS Czar, WASHINGTON TIMES reports.
According to both AIDS activists and White House officials,
Wilson, who has AIDS, is the "top candidate" to replace departing
AIDS czar Patricia Fleming. Wilson spoke at the Democratic
National Convention in August and was formerly a resident scholar
at the University of Southern California and the director of
public policy for AIDS Project Los Angeles.
THANK YOU FOR BEING A CONTRIBUTOR: TIMES reports that
Clinton favors appointing an HIV-positive "AIDS czar as a reward
to activists who backed his reelection." Kim Mills, a
spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, "the nation's largest
homosexual lobbying group," said that "by having an HIV-positive
AIDS adviser, Mr. Clinton would show his commitment to fighting
the disease." TIMES notes that the Human Rights Campaign
contributed $2.5 million to Clinton's reelection bid.
OTHER CONTENDERS: Other candidates for the position include
Michael Isbell, director of Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York
City and member of the president's AIDS advisory task force; Jim
Graham, executive director of the Washington, DC-based Whitman-
Walker Clinic; and Pat Christen, director of the San Francisco
AIDS Foundation. However, several of the candidates said that a
more appropriate person would be someone who has the personal
trust of Clinton or a prominent politician. Steve Michael, co-
director of the Washington arm of ACT UP, an AIDS activist group,
said, "Someone prominent brings stature to the office and a take-
no-prisoners approach to the war on AIDS." Isbell said that "the
White House plans to focus on the search for an AIDS policy chief
after the task force makes its recommendations mid-month"
UPDATE YOUR ROLODEX: In other administration staffing news,
Clifton Gaus, administrator of the Agency for Health Policy &
Research announced his resignation Monday. He will leave as soon
as a successor is named. Also Monday, Health Care Financing
Administration Administrator Bruce Vladeck named the interim
appointees for the agency's reorganization (see AHL 11/12).
Sally Richardson will be acting deputy director, Steven Pelovitz
will take over the Center for Beneficiary Services, Judy Moore
will head the Center for State Operations, and Bruce Fried will
be in charge of the Center for Health Plans and Providers, with
Kathleen Buto serving as his deputy administrator (HEALTH
LEGISLATION, 12/4 issue).