Nation’s HIV and STD Leaders Condemn the Senate for Inclusion of Individual Mandate Repeal in the Tax Reform Bill

Washington, D.C. – AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMAC, and The AIDS Institute collectively condemn today’s passage of H.R. 1 by the Senate, especially its inclusion of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate repeal. H.R.1 will likely have widespread, detrimental impact on critical entitlement programs such as Medicaid and Medicare as well as on health-related spending.

The tax reform bill will increase our nation’s deficit and force cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and other life-saving discretionary programs, including HIV and STD prevention, care, and treatment. The repeal of the individual mandate will make insurance plans unaffordable to those living with pre-existing conditions, including HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The provision will increase the number of uninsured Americans by 13 million, leading to dire consequences for the healthcare of our nation.

Access to affordable, comprehensive insurance and the full funding of HIV and STD discretionary programs are critical to ending the HIV and STD epidemics. The action taken today – following World AIDS Day – directly harms people living with or at risk of HIV and STDs, despite Congress and the Administration’s pledges of support. We urge Congress to immediately reconsider their actions and defeat this bill in conference. Further, we urge the President, who tweeted his support of U.S. leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS today, to veto this shameful bill should it reach his desk.

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.