The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Community News Network

December 2, 2013

6 ways health-care reform can help end America's AIDS epidemic

(Continued)

1. Requiring that all Americans have health insurance increases the odds that the roughly 240,000 Americans who don't know that they have the virus will get tested for HIV and diagnosed, receive appropriate care and treatment and reach viral suppression.

2. Young adults under age 26 can already be covered on a parent's health insurance policy, including those who have HIV. Black teens and young adults ages 13 to 24 represent 57 percent of new infections in that age demographic.

3. The ACA prohibits health insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, including HIV/AIDS, and from kicking people off their plans or raising their rates astronomically if they get sick. Such practices had prevented many people with HIV from accessing both the care and prescription medications they need-meds that help reduce the black community's viral load.

4. The ACA requires that all health insurance be of good quality. So from hospitalization to maternity care to mental-health services, the new health-care law establishes a minimum set of 10 essential health benefits that all insurance policies must offer, including prescription benefits that include lifesaving HIV drugs.

5. The ACA eliminates annual and lifetime caps on health insurance coverage, which is particularly important with HIV, which can be tremendously expensive to treat.

6. Expanding Medicaid to cover people often labeled the "working poor" disproportionately benefits African-Americans and other people of color, who are overrepresented among the un- and underinsured, according to a July 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation report. Unfortunately, many governors have refused to expand Medicaid, and nearly 60 percent of uninsured black people with incomes below the new Medicaid-expansion limit live in states not expanding Medicaid at this time. They are disproportionately located in the South, where the HIV epidemic is worst.

To learn more about how health-care reform affects people with HIV, visit Greater Than AIDS' "Obamacare and You" website at http://greaterthan.org.

Hilary Beard is co-author of "Health First! The Black Woman's Wellness Guide" and has led the Black AIDS Institute's volunteer journalists to the International AIDS Conference in Washington and Vienna.

Text Only
Community News Network
E-edition
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Must Read