FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 30, 2020
CONTACT: Helen Parshall
firstname.lastname@example.org | 202-876-2823
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced Thursday a plan to allow states to convert Medicaid funding to block grants. Following the administration’s announcement, Carl Baloney Jr., vice president for policy and advocacy at AIDS United, decried the decision, saying the plan would drastically decrease health care access for the most vulnerable.
“Regardless of what name they give the program, the administration’s decision will gut access to services that keep those most in need, including people living with HIV, engaged in health care,” he said.
Medicaid is the largest source of insurance coverage for people living with HIV, covering more than 40% of people with HIV who are in care.
Baloney continued, “We cannot afford to go back to the days when most people with HIV were denied insurance coverage, could not afford the coverage offered, and did not qualify for Medicaid until they were both very poor and became sick and disabled.
“Shrinking federal funding for state Medicaid programs means states receive less money and are faced with a choice: take on any additional costs themselves or cut services to the people who need them the most. Under block grants and per capita caps, people living with HIV would suddenly find themselves competing with other vulnerable populations for a needlessly dwindling pool of money. Given the high price of HIV medications, people living with HIV could bear a disproportionately large burden as state governments look for ways to reduce costs.
“It’s now up to the states to reject this program. AIDS United is calling on governors throughout the country to say no to block grants, no matter what the administration calls them.”
AIDS United’s mission is to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. through strategic grant-making, capacity building and policy. AIDS United works to ensure access to life-saving HIV care and prevention services and to advance sound HIV-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. Learn more at aidsunited.org.