The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

Project Inform Advocacy Update

December 2004

How Do the Election Results Affect People With HIV?

While the impact of the November election on HIV-related funding and legislation is still unknown, we are beginning to get a sense of the upcoming political climate. President Bush's re-election, along with new Members of Congress, administrative officials and key committee leaders will mean new challenges and opportunities on a variety of HIV/AIDS and healthcare issues. For more about these post-election changes, read this article.

Healthcare Challenges in President Bush's Second Term

President Bush's first term was not marked by expansion -- or even protection of -- the healthcare programs that the majority of HIV-positive people in the United States depend on. Given the President's stated priorities, it is not expected that much will change in the second term. A more conservative Congress is also unlikely to push positive changes to essential healthcare programs.

The priorities that the President has outlined could, in fact, have very damaging impacts on the programs that serve some of the most vulnerable Americans, including Medicaid, Medicare and the Ryan White CARE Act. You can learn more about potential challenges and how you can be involved here.


TennCare Tenuous: A Sign of the Times?

The precarious situation for TennCare, Tennessee's expanded Medicaid program once thought of as a model, continues. After lawsuits blocked Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen from restructuring the program to save money, he threatened to eliminate it -- cutting off healthcare to 430,000 people. In addition, an article (PDF) from Families USA's Ron Pollock said that eliminating the program would drive up healthcare costs for insured people as providers were forced to raise rates to cover the costs of uncompensated care.

Advocates believe that the Governor's proposed "reforms" would lead to a loss of currently guaranteed essential healthcare. The potentially damaging components included a "pre-approval" authority that would allow the state to make significant unspecified changes in the program to manage spending without federal oversight, a proposed new definition of medical necessity allowing the state to provide only the least expensive "adequate" care, and far-reaching changes to the pharmacy benefit. A letter was sent by healthcare advocates -- including Project Inform -- to Governor Bredesen about this issue.

The situation in Tennessee has not yet been resolved, and the Governor and advocates are still negotiating. However problems in state Medicaids such as Tennessee and Mississippi (where state actions are threatening care for tens of thousands of current beneficiaries) may be just the beginning of deterioration of care in state programs as healthcare costs continue to escalate and state economies remain sluggish.

A document (MS Word) by Thomas P. McCormack of the Title II Community AIDS National Network summarizes proposed and enacted state Medicaid cutbacks and exclusions.

Reporting on Healthcare for People With HIV

The Fall 2004 ACRIA Update takes a comprehensive look at healthcare and drug development and regulatory programs for people with HIV. The issue includes articles on the Ryan White CARE Act, Medicaid and Medicare, the Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical Patient Assistance Programs, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and clinical trials.

The newsletter's Medicaid and Medicare article provides further information on those two programs and ways to take action to protect them.

Medicare Prescription Drug Comments Online

Thank you again to everyone who submitted public comments in response to the draft Medicare drug regulations. We know that over 500 people provided comments about the need for the final regulations to protect people with HIV/AIDS who will depend on this program for lifesaving treatment. Many people also participated in a national call-in day on December 1, reinforcing this message with the Bush Administration.

The federal government has posted many of these public comments online.

Final regulations are expected to be released early next year. We will let you know when they are available, as well as any opportunities to improve them through legislative changes.

PI Perspective Is Going Electronic!

Beginning with the next issue (#40), Project Inform will be converting PI Perspective to an electronic format. If would you like to receive notices by e-mail, please sign up. As with all identifying information that we maintain, Project Inform will not disclose, share, or sell your e-mail address to anyone. It will be kept confidential.

Since Project Inform understands that not everyone has access to or prefers to use e-mail, we remain committed to ensuring that PI Perspective is available in print free-of-charge to anyone who wants it. If you would like a hard copy delivered to you, call us at 1-800-822-7422 to sign up.


Check This Out

  • ATAC (AIDS Treatment Activist Coalition) has a new Web site.

  • Families USA is a national nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Quote of the Month

"It will take a bit of heroism from each of us to realize our visions of our communities, our futures and our lives."

-- Shalini Eddens, Project Wise

  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by Project Inform. Visit Project Inform's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.