Gay Men's Health Crisis is calling out the Trump administration for putting the lives of HIV-affected Americans at risk.
The leading provider of AIDS care said the administration move's to cease its advertising and media reachout of the Affordable Care Act is a "direct affront" to those it serves. Enrollment of the nationwide health program ends January 31.
"The Trump administration’s harmful decision to halt all Obamacare outreach and advertising in the final days of the 2017 enrollment season is a direct attack on our clients and their health," said Kelsey Louie, GMHC's CEO. "By denying the American people the chance to sign up for coverage, the president is actively reducing access to affordable and accessible healthcare, which is essential to ending the AIDS epidemic."
"This is an affront to those living with and at risk of HIV. Our state and federal governments must take action to ensure that access to treatment and prevention tools does not diminish."
President Trump, as well as Republican leaders, have vowed to repeal and replace the ACA, although a substitute plan has yet to be presented. Signed into law by former President Barack Obama in 2010, the ACA, also known as Obamacare, aimed to reform the U.S. health care industry by decreasing costs and increasing availablity of insurance plans. Millions of Americans are currently enrolled.
The ACA, in addition to ensuring coverage of preventative services like HIV testing, prevents discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions like HIV. It also offers many benefits to HIV-positive people, like affordability, lower prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients, and comprehensive coverage that includes lab tests and mental health services.
"There are still 50,000 new HIV infections in the United States every year,” Louie said. “We hope the new administration will work with us and commit the attention and resources required to end the epidemic once and for all."