AIDS United denounces the House of Representatives for voting for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill which would set back efforts to end the HIV epidemic in favor of a hefty tax break for the wealthy. If the bill is signed into law millions of Americans, including people living with HIV, may find themselves priced out of coverage and discriminated against for their age, gender or pre-existing conditions. The AHCA, if passed, would end the Medicaid expansion, end Medicaid as an entitlement program, relies on ineffective high risk pools and is expected to cause at least 24 million Americans to lose health coverage.
The AHCA has the potential to take people living with HIV back to the days when they were denied insurance coverage or could not afford the coverage offered. High risk pools have repeatedly failed to provide affordable, quality coverage for people living with HIV and other pre-existing or chronic conditions. Coverage in high risk pools often has excessively high premiums, deductibles and co-pays along with limitations on needed drug coverage and care. The extra $8 billion provided by the AHCA to support access to insurance through high risk pools is not sufficient and will result in under-capitalized pools, years-long waiting lists and limits on eligibility. This will ultimately cost the United States more money in future hospitalizations and other expenses.
“The American Health Care Act would be disastrous for people living with HIV, potentially causing unnecessary illness and death, and moves us away from the national goal of ending the HIV epidemic,” said AIDS United President & CEO Jesse Milan, Jr. “We are extremely disappointed in the legislators who voted for this bill and who ignored the will of most Americans and the voices of people living with HIV. We will work to ensure that constituents have all the facts to hold their elected officials accountable.”
AIDS United calls on the Senate to reject this appalling bill and to stand up for the affordable, quality health care that people living with HIV and millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions deserve.
About AIDS United: AIDS United’s mission is to end the AIDS epidemic in the U.S., through strategic grant-making, capacity building, formative research and policy. AIDS United works to ensure access to life-saving HIV/AIDS care and prevention services and to advance sound HIV/AIDS-related policy for U.S. populations and communities most impacted by the epidemic. To date, our strategic grant-making initiatives have directly funded more than $104 million to local communities, and have leveraged more than $117 million in additional investments for programs that include, but are not limited to HIV prevention, access to care, capacity building, harm reduction and advocacy. aidsunited.org