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  • The Better Care Reconciliation Act and People with HIV

    06/29/2017

    Statement of HIVMA Chair Wendy Armstrong, MD, FIDSA:

    The Better Care Reconciliation Act, intended to improve upon the House-passed American Health Care Act, remains deeply flawed and provides unacceptable health coverage options for our patients with HIV infection. The legislation again appears hastily readied for a vote yet leaves 22 million Americans without healthcare coverage, and is particularly devastating for vulnerable patients including those who are older, those with lower incomes, and those infected with HIV.  

    Healthcare reform that aims to prevent disease and keep people healthy and productive cannot have at its core:

         •   Drastic reductions in the federal commitment to the Medicaid program through capped per person funding 

         •   A phase out of Medicaid expansion

         •   Diminished financial support for coverage under which low income individuals will pay more for less 

         •   An option not to  cover essential services such as preventive screenings, substance use and mental health care and maternity care  

         •   Weak consumer protections that will once again open the door to age, health and gender discrimination 

    We urge our Senators to act in a bipartisan fashion and to seek broad input from and partner with healthcare providers, patients and industry groups to avoid cutting coverage and services for the poorest and most vulnerable Americans and to develop strategies that lower healthcare and prescription drug costs.

    As a country, we must build upon, rather than abandon, the recent progress we have made to increase access to healthcare coverage, thus improving the health of Americans and importantly, beginning to turn the tide of America’s HIV epidemic.  We appeal to our Senators to reject the BCRA and send a signal that healthcare for all Americans is a priority.   

    Please also see the statement from HIVMA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of America on the Medicaid Program, Public Health and Access to HIV Care.

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    The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) is the professional home for more than 5,000 physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS. Nested within the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIVMA promotes quality in HIV care and advocates policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the AIDS pandemic informed by science and social justice. For more information, visit www.hivma.org.

     
     

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