AIDS United Calls on Congress to Reject Health Care Reform Appeal

Statement by Mark Ishaug, Incoming President & CEO, AIDS United

WASHINGTON, D.C.  January 19, 2011 – “The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote today on legislation H.R. 2, that would repeal the Affordable Care Act.  AIDS United strongly opposes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (health care reform), and urges House Members to vote “No” on the repeal bill.

“The Affordable Care Act has provisions allowing for significant expansion of health care coverage for people living with HIV/AIDS over the next three years, including:

·       Elimination of categorical eligibility of Medicaid, and expansion of Medicaid coverage in 2014 to everyone with income of up to $133% of the federal poverty level.  People with low incomes who are living with HIV will no longer have to wait for an AIDS diagnoses to be eligible for Medicaid and life-saving care and treatment.

·       Prohibition against lifetime benefit limits for all private health insurance plans.  People living with HIV/AIDS would no longer fear being cut off from their life-saving treatment because they “max out” their health care benefits.

·       Availability of temporary high-risk insurance pools.  People living with HIV/AIDS will have immediate access to health insurance and will not be denied because of a pre-existing condition.

“These are just a few of the critical consumer protections with impact on people living with HIV/AIDS that will be lost with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  People living with HIV/AIDS will be disproportionately affected by a repeal and we must defend the vital protections and health care improvements ensured by health care reform.”