IN THE LOOP
The news you need to know this week
Welcome to the latest edition of our update on the news you need to know and how it affects you and the communities we serve. Every couple of weeks we send out an e-mail featuring important updates, and you can sign up below! As always, thank you for your support of APLA Health, and please share this with others who may be interested.
TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE #GOPTaxScam
Tell these senators the Republican tax bill is just another attack on our healthcare!
House Speaker Paul Ryan says domestic entitlement programs like Medicaid and Medicare are driving up federal debt. How about the Republican tax bill that adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit?
This is a code red emergency and we must act now! Republicans in Congress could vote as early as next week on a devastating tax bill that would lead to drastic cuts in essential health programs for people living with HIV, viral hepatitis and other chronic conditions.
Last week House Speaker Paul Ryan was on the radio talking about cutting entitlement programs to reduce federal debt. But he forgot to mention that the tax bill adds $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit. This is because the Republican tax plan intentionally adds to the deficit and will then force future cuts in vital domestic healthcare programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Ryan White Program.
The tax bill also eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which requires that most Americans have health insurance. This move will destabilize the individual insurance market, cause millions of people to lose health coverage, and lead to double digit premium increases.
What’s next? You can stop the bill, but time is running out. Call these five senators. All of them have previously hesitated to endorse the tax bill. Demand that they prioritize healthcare, not tax cuts for the rich, paid for with domestic program cuts!
Please call these senators now!
Susan Collins (ME) – (202) 224-2523
Bob Corker (TN) – (202) 224-3344
Jeff Flake (AZ) – (202) 224-4521
John McCain (AZ) – (202) 224-2235
Marco Rubio (FL) – (202) 224-3041
Sample Call Script:
“Hello, Senator. I’m deeply concerned about the tax bill and its impact on people living with HIV and other chronic conditions. The tax bill would repeal the individual mandate, cause premiums to rise, and increase pressure to gut safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Ryan White in future budgets. I urge you to VOTE NO on the tax bill and ANY further attempts to dismantle healthcare and gut Medicaid.”
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Launches HIV/AIDS Strategy
On World AIDS Day, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Division of HIV & STD Programs (DHSP) launched its new Los Angeles County HIV/AIDS Strategy for 2020 and Beyond (LACHAS). The new strategy seeks to significantly reduce the number of new HIV infections in Los Angeles County each year and bring an end to the HIV epidemic once and for all. L.A. County has the second-largest HIV epidemic in the United States. Nearly 61,000 people are living with HIV in the County, and there are approximately 1,850 new diagnoses each year, most among gay men, African-Americans, Latinos, and transgender persons. LACHAS seeks to help bring an end to the epidemic by reducing the number of annual HIV infections, reducing the number of people who are living with HIV but undiagnosed, and increasing viral suppression rates among people who are diagnosed with HIV. LACHAS also addresses the racism, stigma and discrimination, homophobia and transphobia that have a profound impact on HIV treatment and prevention.
The three goals of the LACHAS are:
- Reduce annual HIV infections to 500
- Increase the proportion of persons living with HIV (PLWH) who are diagnosed to at least 90%
- Increase the proportion of diagnosed PLWH who are virally suppressed to 90%
For more information about the Los Angeles County HIV/AIDS Strategy and to read it, visit the new website: lacounty.hiv
Los Angeles Equality Town Hall on December 20th: Addressing Disparities in LGBTQ Health and Well-being
APLA Health, in partnership with Equality California, Health Access, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles are proud to announce the Los Angeles Equality Town Hall: Addressing Disparities in LGBTQ Health and Wellbeing. This event will provide an opportunity to learn more about the unique health needs of the LGBTQ community, the challenges the community faces in achieving optimal health, and ways we can work collaboratively to reduce disparities and advance health equity.
This event is open to the public and will serve to inform the community, health professionals, and policy makers on how best to advance the health and well-being of California’s LGBTQ community. The keynote speaker is Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson). For more information on the event panelists or agenda, visit action.eqca.org/latownhall.
Mark your calendars! The town hall will be held on Wednesday, December 20th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at The California Endowment at 1000 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. RSVP here: action.eqca.org/latownhall.
Stay in the loop!
We will send you regular updates on issues and policies affecting the LGBT and/or HIV communities and urge you to call or e-mail your representatives about key political activity at the local, state, and federal levels.