House of Representatives Passes Bill to Take Away Insurance Coverage for Millions

Today, AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Council of STD Directors, NMAC and The AIDS Institute join together to condemn the House of Representatives for passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA). If enacted, the AHCA would take away insurance coverage for millions of Americans and end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This bill is disastrous for people living with or at risk for HIV and STDs.

“The AHCA will be incredibly harmful as it allows insurance companies to discriminate against people living with pre-existing conditions. People living with HIV or STDs can be charged higher premiums because of their health status,” stated Murray C. Penner, Executive Director of NASTAD.

“In addition, by waiving the Essential Health Benefits requirements, insurers will no longer be required to provide the services people living with and at risk for HIV and hepatitis need to stay healthy, including prescription drugs, mental and behavioral health services, and preventive services. These services are critical to the health of people living with or at risk for HIV and STDs and are essential to ending the HIV and STD epidemics,” remarked Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.

Jesse Milan, Jr., AIDS United President & CEO added “Ending Medicaid expansion and proposed changes to the Medicaid program will force states to limit eligibility, benefits, and important consumer protections. These will return the country to a time where someone living with HIV had to be determined disabled to receive Medicaid benefits. It is simply appalling.”

“In addition, this bill eliminates funding for vital services provided by the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which funds 12% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget. This will decimate the federal government’s response to public health issues, including HIV and other STDs,” observed David C. Harvey, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.

“We call on the Senate to reject the AHCA and protect people living with or at risk of HIV and STDs. The Senate must preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions and the Medicaid program,” finished Paul Kawata, Executive Director of NMAC.

AIDS United (AU), NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), NMAC, and The AIDS Institute (TAI) are national non-partisan, non-profit organizations focused on ending HIV in the U.S. They have been working in partnership to identify and share resources to sustain successes and progress we have made in HIV and STD prevention, care and treatment in the United States.