Early Medicaid Treatment: Bipartisan Bill in Senate With 32 Cosponsors, Could Cut HIV Deaths on Medicaid in Half
February 28, 2005
On February 8, 2005, Senators Gordon Smith, Hillary Clinton, and 30 other cosponsors introduced the Early Treatment for HIV Act (S. 311, known as ETHA). This bill would let states choose to pay for early HIV treatment under Medicaid, instead of waiting until people become disabled due to advanced illness. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers projected that over 10 years, early treatment would reduce deaths of persons with HIV on Medicaid by 50%, and more than pay for the cost of care by reducing hospitalization and other expenses of serious illness later. Another benefit is that person on antiretroviral treatment become less infectious due to a lower viral load, reducing transmission to others.
The bill expands existing provisions for breast cancer to also include HIV. Under the existing Federal law, early treatment for breast cancer has been implemented by 49 states.
For more information, including a link to the PricewaterhouseCoopers study, see an article by Housing Works, www.hwadvocacy.com/update/archives/2005/02/early_treatment_1.html.
This article was provided by AIDS Treatment News. It is a part of the publication AIDS Treatment News.