IN THE LOOP
The news you need to know about 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 (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.
Act Now to Save Programs for People Living With HIV!
Congress has until next Friday, April 28, to write a short-term spending bill before the continuing resolution that currently funds the federal government runs out. There is a real possibility that programs for people living with and at risk for HIV could be casualties of this process. If a deal isn’t reached by midnight on April 28, the federal government will shut down. Tell Congress to protect and invest in the lives of Americans living with and at risk for HIV. Ask Congress to:
- Continue current funding for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year
- Restore proposed cuts that would eliminate the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Special Projects of National Significance; the Title X Family Planning Program; and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, while also reducing funding to Ryan White Part C, the HHS Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, and the STD Prevention Program
- Expand resources for the recently updated Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS programs, so that no person living with HIV who receives support will lose access to safe, affordable housing
- Eliminate funding for the abstinence-only-until-marriage grant program, aka “sexual risk avoidance,” as they fail to educate young people about their sexual health
- Increase funding for domestic HIV programs
- Oppose any ideological riders being part of any final spending package
Trump Wobbles on Health Care
As Congress nears the end of its two-week recess, the outlook on health care reform remains unclear. The president had initially told Republicans that he was moving on to tax reform after efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed, but he now seems willing to work on health care again. And key Republican leaders have said that there are ongoing negotiations with the goal of bringing a bill to the House floor soon after the recess. Congressional Republicans, however, continue to be divided over exactly what should be included in a health care bill, and it remains to be seen whether they can reach consensus anytime soon.
Trump is also sending mixed signals on the fate of the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies, which lower the cost of co-pays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs for roughly 680,000 Californians. House Republicans have long argued that funding these cost-sharing subsidies is unconstitutional, and they brought a lawsuit to stop the payments in 2014. Although the House initially won, the Obama administration appealed the decision, and the payments continued. The Trump administration must now decide whether to keep fighting the Obama administration’s fight. Ending the cost-sharing subsidies would deal a huge blow to insurers, create instability in the markets, and likely result in increased costs for everyone. The Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that health insurance premiums would go up by an average of 19% without the funding.
Tell Congress to stop trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act by calling 866.426.2631 (English) or 877.736.7831 (Spanish). You can also find town halls with members of Congress in your area by visiting resistancerecess.com.
Good News for Transgender Health
APLA Health Awarded $1.9 Million Grant to Establish New HIV Prevention Program for Young Transgender People of Color and Their Partners
We are proud to announce that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has selected us as one of only seven organizations nationwide to receive a $1.9 million grant to establish a new HIV prevention program focusing on young transgender people of color, ages 18-29, and their partners. The five-year grant is for community-based organizations that work with the communities most impacted by HIV. APLA Health is the only community-based organization in California to receive the award specifically for the transgender program. Grant funding began April 1, 2017, and will continue until March 31, 2022. The new program is called Trans Connections and will focus on residents of South L.A. and Long Beach.
CHPRC Holds Roundtable Discussion on Transgender HIV Prevention and Health Care
The California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers (CHPRC), a project funded by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program at the University of California Office of the President, recently convened key stakeholders from across California to identify best practices for transgender HIV prevention and care that specifically address social determinants of health. Presenters offered an overview of best practices for trans populations and gender identity and the law, and afternoon small group sessions engaged in designing effective strategies that best address social determinants of health, including identifying barriers and facilitators with respect to their uptake.
CHPRC is in the process of reviewing notes from the meeting and will generate a number of research topics around trans health care. APLA Health is a partner of the Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center, along with UCLA and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
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.