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    Posted January 20, 2011 by
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    The Idiots We Voted Into House of Representatives


    The House voted Wednesday to repeal the Democrats’ landmark health  care  overhaul, marking  what the new Republican majority in the chamber   hailed as  the fulfillment of a campaign promise and the start of an   all-out effort to dismantle President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement in what the GOP calls a...

    "Symbolic Act"

    Here what they just accomplished with their symbolic act - I hope they are PROUD of themselves.

    o   16 million people with incomes below 133% of the federal  poverty level and disabilities will 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.

    o   Repealing reform will undo elimination of the Medicare Part D  drug benefit coverage gap (known as "the donut hole").   Repealing  reform 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.

    o   We will lose 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 will lose access to insurance coverage through their parents' health plans. The impact on young people living with HIV will be devastating.

    o   Over 165 million residents of the United States with  private insurance coverage will suddenly find themselves vulnerable  again to having lifetime coverage limits.  This is a particular problem  for people living with HIV

    o   15.9 million people in the United States will be at risk  of losing their insurance as insurance companies are once again allowed  cut off someone's coverage unexpectedly when they are in an accident or  become sick because of a simple mistake on an application.

    No disease better illustrates the frailties and disparities of the  health care system than HIV. Remarkable advances in HIV treatment have  transformed it to a chronic condition- but only for people with regular  access to care. Today despite the best efforts of the discretionary Ryan  White Program (which saved my own life, by the way), nearly 50 percent  of people living with HIV in the United States lack access to a secure  source of HIV treatment.  The Affordable Care Act addressed the systemic  barriers to care for people living with HIV and AIDS.

    Now, we are going backwards, thanks to a...

    "Symbolic Act"

    Because of harmful insurance underwriting practices, private  insurance for people living with chronic medical conditions such as HIV  and AIDS has often been impossible to obtain in the individual market.   Current discriminatory polices result in fewer than 20 percent of people  with HIV having access to private insurance coverage.  The ACA  increases access to private health insurance by reducing discrimination  based on health status, prohibiting lifetime and annual limits on  coverage, and eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions.  Current  discriminatory policies result in fewer than 20% of people with HIV  having access to private insurance coverage.

    The expansion of Medicaid in 2014 to most low income individuals and  families would have been another crucial improvement that would expand  care to many low-income people living with HIV disease. 

    Currently low-income people living with HIV disease must become  disabled by AIDS before they can access care through Medicaid that could  have prevented them from becoming disabled in the first place. ( Read that again!)

    Not only will access to both public and private insurance help to  improve health outcomes for people with HIV, but early intervention and  access to coordinated and integrated care is far less costly than the  late emergency intervention and hospitalizations that follow deferred  care.

    ACA offers great promise in helping to address the current AIDS Drug  Assistance Program (ADAP) funding shortage, which has resulted in an  access to care and public health crisis for people living with HIV.   ADAP, a primary resource for early access to HIV medications, is  experiencing the worst funding shortfall on record.  Thousands of  individuals living with HIV are on waiting lists as many states have  been forced to greatly restrict access to live-saving medications.  Many  state ADAP programs have closed their doors to new clients; others have  been forced to restrict eligibility rules and disenroll beneficiaries;  and others have instituted a broad range of cost-containment measures  that further restrict access.

    Now thanks to the "wisdom" of our elected "leaders" the full  implementation of the ACA this situation will continue to worse.  As a  result, we will fail to stop disease progression, unnecessary high-cost  medical interventions will increase, and ultimately we will fail to  realize the health, public health and economic benefits of early access  to comprehensive health care that the ACA provides.

    Finally, I want to point out that ACA includes important prevention  and public health provisions that have significant implications for  people at risk for infection.  The law includes first dollar coverage  for preventive benefits that meet certain criteria, including HIV  testing for those at increased risk, in high risk settings, and pregnant  women.  This is an important step in ensuring that we reduce the number  of people infected with HIV who don't know their status - 21 percent.  Additionally, these individuals can be linked to lifesaving medical care   that also will suppress the virus and greatly reduce transmission risk   to others.

    All lost due to a...

    "Symbolic Act"

    The vote was 245 to 189, with 3 Democrats joining all 242 Republicans in support of the repeal.  Does any of this make real sense people?

    How many more have to die?

    This I know for sure, if just one of our elected officials was  publicly known to be infected and living with HIV/AIDS - the vote  wouldn't have been the same.

    Especially if they were a Republican.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts

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