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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Three Important Ways Obamacare Helps People With HIV/AIDS

By Candace Y.A. Montague

June 28, 2012

Obamacare is a significant win for PLWHA. Photo credit: onenewsnow.com.

Obamacare is a significant win for PLWHA. Photo credit: onenewsnow.com.

The United States Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care law that provides health coverage for millions of Americans who are uninsured. This historic act has paved the way for so many Americans to get coverage that was previously denied to them just a few years ago. For people living with HIV/AIDS this decision is without question a victory. Here are three ways that the Affordable Care Act helps.

  1. No more denial of health insurance due to "pre-existing conditions." People who are HIV positive or have full blown AIDS have been discriminated against for years through the term "pre-existing condition." They were either denied coverage or given a really high premium to pay. This act now eliminates that by making it illegal for insurance companies to deny a person for having HIV. There are probably other legal ways that insurance companies can deny a person, so it's wise to stay as healthy as possible.
  2. "Donut hole" closure. Some patients who are HIV positive depend on Medicare Part D for assistance to pay for medications. Before this law, there was a gap between where the coverage ended and where the patient had to pay out-of-pocket called the "donut hole." The closure of this hole doesn't necessarily make medications free for everyone but it will help reduce the cost for the patients. Hopefully this will keep patients compliant with their medication routine.
  3. Healthcare access will be expanded. Insurance exchanges (where you can sorta shop for insurance) and expanding the Medicaid program will help people with HIV/AIDS get coverage. They will have access to medications and treatment which can also help with other co-morbidities that they such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

For a more thorough explanation about how Obamacare works for Americans (with or without HIV), click here.

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See Also
National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States: Executive Summary
U.S. Announces First National HIV/AIDS Strategy
More on U.S. HIV/AIDS Policy

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Enovak (San Jose, CA) Sun., Jul. 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm EDT
The place where Obamacare and HIV intersect brings out the ugliest dark underbelly of the American psyche. Due to a defective , Old-Testament misunderstanding of Christianity, so-called "christians" have created a punitocracy in our country, where there is constant (and effective) effort to corrupt law based on our constitution's focus on Equality into law that punishes people for "sinning" according to misunderstood and corrupted Bible verse. The result is that law is constantly used to discriminate against and actually violate gay people. The unsaid axiom of the Christian Right is that HIV-positive people SHOULD be allowed to die as punishment. Until we can accept each other completely as we are, we will never have the promised equality in this country, and law will be based not on restricting people from harming each other but rather punishing them for sinning. This theocratic corruption has sadly caused the USA to fall far short of its founders' ideals. Obamacare will help to ameliorate the effects of this punitocracy, but it won't really change until we change as a nation and remember that Christianity was about *unconditional* love, not control.
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Comment by: john s (denver co.) Thu., Jul. 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm EDT
Yep, and when we get older,,,and we start running into serious health problems, we go in front of a panel,,,then "they" decide on our treatments...Anyone want to bet one of the options is no more med's ,,,,,,just because?
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Comment by: Anonymous Thu., Jul. 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm EDT
It's MEDICARE Part D, not Medicaid.
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Comment by: Andrella (New Orleans, LA) Thu., Jul. 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm EDT
Currently, my state which has one of the highest rates of HIV cases is blocking the Obamacare program. They are Basicly ignoring it starting that they are, hoping that republican president will be voted in and have it overturned. This is really sad. After hearing of this, I found that there are more than ten other states also refusing to set up health plans under the Obamacare program. I feel that only God can help If people wouldn't respect the authority odd the president and the supreme court.
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Candace Y.A. Montague

Candace Y.A. Montague

Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.

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