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AIDS Institue Urges Senate Not To Repeal ACA Without Viable Replacement

Wednesday Jan 11, 2017

Yesterday, The AIDS Institute sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate to urge them to vote "NO" on the Budget Resolution that would begin the process to repeal the ACA without a viable replacement.

In the letter, we acknowledge that "While the current law is not perfect and needs improvement, the ACA has provided health care coverage to more than 20 million Americans, including tens of thousands with HIV and hepatitis. In the past, many of them could not obtain private insurance because insurance companies were allowed to exclude people with pre-existing conditions. Now, people living with HIV and hepatitis can purchase coverage and access healthcare and lifesaving medications to keep them healthy and, in the case of hepatitis C, actually cure them."

In the letter, we detail many other benefits of the law, including Medicaid expansion, access to preventive services, non-discrimination protections, and limits on annual patient cost-sharing.

"Instead of repealing the ACA, the focus should be on improving it to limit patient cost-sharing without compromising access to coverage."

"We believe that if the Congress repeals the ACA without simultaneously replacing it with programs that ensure comprehensive health coverage for the same if not more individuals, the private insurance market will become unstable and people with HIV, hepatitis and others would lose access to the care and treatment that they depend on to remain healthy. People with HIV and hepatitis B, who depend on a daily drug regimen, cannot risk losing access to their health coverage, not even for a single day."

"Beneficiaries can only determine if a replacement plan will be better than the ACA and their existing coverage if they are able to know what that coverage will be. To date, no viable alternative options have been proposed by the Congress that meets this standard."

"While improvements can be made, we cannot afford to go backwards by eliminating or destabilizing the healthcare that the ACA provides."

The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through public policy, research, advocacy and education.

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