May 22, 2019 | Health Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AIDS Activists join Lawmakers in Call for “Robin Hood Tax” to Fund Investment in Domestic and Global Health Priorities

Contact:
Brittany Herrick (Health GAP): 1 347-263-8438| brittany@healthgap.org

(Washington, DC)Today, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Barbara Lee introduced the “Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2019”, legislation that would raise an estimated $220 billion per year through a new tax on financial transactions. This would help curb harmful high frequency trading that puts the economy at risk, while holding Wall Street to pay its fair share to ensure access to essential public goods for people in the United States and around the world.

The act, which proposes a 0.5% tax on stock trading, 0.1% on bond trading, and 0.005% on derivatives trading,would generate billions of dollars in new revenue while curbing harmful high-frequency trading. The proceeds generated would be used for critical priorities, like closing funding gaps in global access to HIV treatment and prevention and ensuring adequate support for other important global health and humanitarian programs, helping to expand and improve Medicare, supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, investing in quality education for all, and improving transportation infrastructure. This legislation comes amidst calls from a growing number of lawmakers to address mounting domestic and global disparities in health outcomes, earning, and access to a safe environment.  

“We are tired of hearing politicians claim that the U.S. budget is too small to fully fund life and death priorities such as AIDS treatment in countries around the world where it is needed most,” said Matthew Rose, Health GAP’s Director of U.S. Policy and Advocacy. “We want our lawmakers to have the guts to stand up to Wall Street and make the big banks pay their fair share to protect our communities.”

Small taxes on financial transactions are an established part of economic systems in many countries; almost 30 countries have some form of a financial transaction tax, and the U.S. had a similar tax from 1914-1966.

The Bill reflects the recommendations of the Robin Hood Tax coalition, a group of 165 organizations and networks including labor unions, religious organizations, health advocates, housing activists, environmentalists, small businesses and more, that have been calling for a tax on Wall Street. UNAIDS estimates that there is at least a $7.2 billion funding gap for HIV prevention and treatment services globally to get on track towards the global goal of defeating AIDS as a global public health threat by 2030.

“This innovative tax couldn’t come soon enough for young people, poor people, people of color, marginalized people, and people living with and affected by HIV in this country and around the world. ,” said Emily Sanderson, Health GAP’s National Organizer. “If we wait for business as usual approaches to deliver progress in ending AIDS, we will be waiting forever.”

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Health GAP is an international advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all people living with HIV have access to affordable life sustaining medicines. Our team pairs pragmatic policy work with audacious grassroots action to win equitable access to treatment, care and prevention for people living with and affected by HIV worldwide. We are dedicated to eliminating barriers to universal access to affordable life sustaining medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS as key to a comprehensive strategy to confront and ultimately stop the AIDS pandemic. We believe that the human right to life and to health must prevail over the pharmaceutical industry’s excessive profits and expanding patent rights.

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