The US House of Representatives just passed a bipartisan measure to spend $50 billion to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa and other affected areas over the next five years. This mandate is very similar to one considered likely to pass the US Senate soon. The funding would not be as heavily restricted as in previous years when a third of the money was required to be spent on abstinence programs.

Opponents of the bill counter that the US has gone too far to take care of the world’s population without adequately funding health care programs at home. California Republican Representative Rohrabacher opposes the funding saying ”

“It is terrible that millions of Africans are suffering AIDS. But we cannot afford such totally irrational generosity. This is benevolence gone wild. We can’t take care of our own veterans when they come home from the war. We can’t take care of our elderly. We have people who can’t take care of their own health needs and are at risk of losing their homes,” Rohrabacher added. “We have big hearts. But we need to use our brains.”

This comment and the full story are available from the Washington Post (among others) and can be found here.

What do you think? How far does our obligation as a wealthy country to help other countries extend? Are HIV/AIDS programs here in the states adequately funded? Should this be a consideration when looking at the global epidemic? Let us know!