Director of Communications
June 26, 2017
45,000 Californians Living With HIV Would be Impacted by Medicaid Cuts Under Senate Health Bill
New fact sheet from the California HIV/AIDS Research Program details the effects the bill would have
Today the California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers (CHPRC) released a new fact sheet showing that tens of thousands of people living with HIV would be impacted by Medicaid cuts under the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). The fact sheet highlights new data from the California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS, which indicates that 45,033 people living with HIV received care and treatment through Medi-Cal in 2014. These data also indicate that approximately 11,500 people living with HIV enrolled in Medi-Cal because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Medi-Cal, California’s version of the federal Medicaid program, covers the cost of medications that help low-income people living with HIV achieve viral suppression, which both improves their health and prevents new infections.
Last week, the U.S. Senate released the BCRA which provides enormous tax cuts to the wealthy and cuts billions of dollars from Medicaid. A similar bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would have cut Medicaid nationwide by $834 billion over 10 years. The BCRA would radically restructure the Medicaid program by converting it to a per capita cap or block grant and effectively end the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Together these changes would result in a massive fiscal shift from the federal government to the states and add billions in additional costs to the state of California.
“Simply put, the Better Care Reconciliation Act would wreak havoc on people living with HIV in California and the state’s Medi-Cal program,” APLA Health Chief Executive Officer Craig E. Thompson says. “Eliminating nearly $1 trillion nationwide from the Medicaid program would mean worse healthcare, poorer health outcomes, and more new infections. The bill would make it impossible to end the HIV epidemic in this country.”
The CHPRC fact sheet emphasizes that limits on Medicaid financing and coverage would have a detrimental impact on California’s efforts to provide care and treatment for people living with HIV and to reduce new HIV infections. It is important for policymakers to understand the threats the BCRA poses to people living with HIV and other vulnerable communities in California.
You can read the fact sheet at this link: http://www.chprc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/MedicaidPLWH.pdf.
The California HIV/AIDS Research Program fosters outstanding and innovative research that responds to the needs of all people of California, especially those who are often under served, by accelerating progress in prevention, education, care, treatment, and a cure for HIV/AIDS. The California HIV/AIDS Research Program supports two Collaborative HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers, for research and policy analysis that addresses critical issues related to HIV/AIDS care and prevention in California. These centers include the University of California, Los Angeles; APLA Health; Los Angeles LGBT Center; University of California, San Francisco; San Francisco AIDS Foundation; and Project Inform. For more information, please visit www.chprc.org.
APLA Health’s mission is to achieve health care equity and promote well-being for the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV. We are a nonprofit, federally qualified health center serving more than 14,000 people annually. We provide 20 different services from 14 locations throughout Los Angeles County, including: medical, dental, and behavioral health care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home health care; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impacts the LGBT and HIV communities, provide capacity-building assistance to health departments across the country, and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us at aplahealth.org.