Affordable Care, AIDS and ASF

Around ASF Blog
Volume 1 / Entry 16
June 28, 2012

Hello friends,

Let me start this blog by saying once again that the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of ASF, its board of directors, staff, clients, volunteers, etc. They are strictly my own and based on information I have obtained from reputable, though possibly biased, sources.

Unlike certain former broadcasters (who shall remain nameless but whose name rhymes with Benn Gleck) however, I am not going to tell you, for instance, that the economy is going to pot, the only smart investment is gold, and subsequently post an advertisement from a sponsor that only sells gold. I’m not going to tell you that I wholeheartedly agree with or disagree with all the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). What I will do is appeal to common sense and tell you how the Supreme Court’s decision today to uphold the constitutionality of the ACA positively affects people living with HIV/AIDS.

The ACA will allow millions of uninsured people access to affordable and/or subsidized health insurance and will expand Medicaid (provided the great State of California approves the Medi-Cal expansion) to cover anyone at or below 133% of the federal poverty level. It will also prevent insurance companies from denying care to anyone with a pre-existing condition. In short, it’s going to help the vast majority of the clients we serve at ASF.

There will be no annual or lifetime caps allowed on the dollar value of coverage. And we will see improvement in the access to drug coverage and preventive benefits. With the current life-expectancy of a person living with HIV at greater than 70 years, both of these improvements will figure heavily in the lives of people needing an endless supply of expensive medication and regular medical care.

I don’t expect that everyone who reads this will agree with all the provisions of the ACA and cheer today’s Supreme Court decision. Even I don’t agree with everything I’ve read. However, in a supposed advanced society, shouldn’t health care be affordable and available to everyone, regardless of their income, race, pre-existing conditions or perceived lack of personal responsibility? That answer is, “Yes.”

Is there anything else out there right now that will do what the ACA is designed to do? All I’ve heard is that ACA needs to be repealed so that a proper solution can be put in its place. That solution will be a “common-sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform that will protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost.” No one is saying exactly how that will be done, so, despite my reservations about some of the provisions and because I live in a civilized advanced society, I’m going with ACA.

I have one more statement and one more question.

I chose my doctor from a list of providers who accept the insurance my employer told me I was going to use. If I want to go with someone not on that list, I’ll pay extra. I’m not exactly sure how that is going to change under ACA or if anyone thinks I didn’t get to choose my doctor. But it seems like that’s how insurance has always worked.

If I didn’t currently have access to health care, would there be anything to protect?

Thanks for reading!

Marc Montminy
Director of Communications and Public Relations

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