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  • HIVMA Calls on Department of Justice to Defend Pre-existing Condition Protections

    06/14/2018

    Statement of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the HIV Medicine Association and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society 

    Contact: IDSA: Jennifer Morales jmorales@idsociety.org

    PCI Public Relations (312) 558-1770 idsa@pcipr.com

    The members of the HIV Medicine Association are deeply concerned by the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision not to defend the constitutionality of existing law protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions and providing other critical consumer protections to individuals in healthcare insurance markets as part of Texas v United States. This decision directly threatens the health of people living with HIV and millions of others with pre-existing conditions. Actions that deprive people living with HIV of access to care and treatment also increase HIV transmission and are an obstacle to public health efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

    The recent decision by the Department of Justice not to uphold protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions including guaranteed issue and community rating threaten the core healthcare reform principles that ended the discriminatory practices that left many people living with HIV without any health insurance coverage options prior to enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In addition, an estimated 52 million Americans under 65 are living with pre-existing conditions and would be at risk for being denied coverage if these protections are revoked.

    Barring healthcare insurers from denying coverage to people with HIV and others with pre-existing conditions and from charging more based on health status or gender are central tenants of the PPACA’s reforms that leveled the playing field to provide access to health insurance coverage for tens of thousands of people with HIV and millions of other Americans for the first time. With reliable access to healthcare, people living with HIV can sustain suppression of the virus, which is essential for their health and for stopping HIV transmission. Members of the Administration have indicated support for ending the HIV epidemic, but this cannot and will not be accomplished without people living with HIV having uninterrupted access to affordable healthcare coverage and services.

    We strongly urge the Department of Justice to reconsider its decision and instead stand up for current law that ensures access to healthcare coverage for the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. and the 52 million Americans living with pre-existing conditions.

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