The Republicans in the US House of Representatives are pushing forward with an effort to repeal The Affordable Care Act (ACA).Repealing ACA will deny coverage to more than 32 million people who would have otherwise benefited from health care reform, as well as jeopardize the nearly 40,000 lives a year that would have been saved by the law. People living with HIV and AIDS would be negatively and disproportionately affected a repeal. Repealing the ACA would allow these critical consumer protections to be lost:
- 16 million people with incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level and disabilities would lose eligibility to be covered by Medicaid expansion in 2014. This means that thousands of individuals living with HIV will continue to wait for an AIDS diagnosis before becoming eligible for Medicaid.
- The ACA will eliminate the Medicare Part D drug benefit coverage gap (known as “the donut hole”). Repealing the ACA will force millions of people to continue to pay absurd out of pocket costs. Until the gap is eliminated, the ACA allows State AIDS Drug Assistance Plans (ADAPs) to cover out-of-pocket costs which is an important benefit for people living with HIV/AIDS and saves money for the ADAPs.
- Loss of the Prevention and Public Health Awareness Fund. This funding makes $15 billion available over ten years to expand and sustain the necessary infrastructure to prevent disease, detect it early, and manage conditions before they become severe. These funds will likely be used for HIV/AIDS and/or related conditions.
- Over 1.2 million young adults including people living with HIV would lose their insurance coverage through their parents’ health plans.
- Over 165 million residents of the United States with private insurance coverage would suddenly find themselves vulnerable again to having lifetime limits placed on how much insurance companies will spend on their health care. This is a particular problem for people living with HIV
- 15.9 million people in the United States would be at risk of losing their insurance as insurance companies would once again be allowed cut off someone’s coverage unexpectedly when they are in an accident or become sick because of a simple mistake on an application.
It is critical that we step up our game and contact our members of Congress, both Senators and members of the House of Representatives and urge them to maintain the Health Care reform bill passed last year