Written by Brook Kelly for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.
In January 2012, Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Diseases (WORLD) and 16 other organizations led by Lambda Legal filed with the Supreme Court a friend-of-the-court brief
in support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
. This week, the Supreme Court held a three-day hearing
on the constitutionality of health care reform. As we hold our breath to see how the Court will decide the fate of the ACA, now is a good time to remind ourselves of the importance of health care reform for women living with HIV and affected by HIV.
We know that the HIV epidemic thrives on a lack
of quality, acceptable, affordable and accessible health care. We also know
that discrimination in health care based on race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, pre-existing conditions, and economic status is rampant. No one law can solve all of these problems but the Affordable Care Act is a first and necessary step toward reforming our health care system to better meet the needs of all people.
The full implementation of health care reform is vital to women living with and affected by HIV for a number of reasons.
1. Health care reform will increase access to health insurance by expanding the Medicaid program to all people who live below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) period – disability status will no longer be required.