FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2017

CONTACT: Kyle Taylor
ktaylor@NASTAD.org | 202-434-7134

Senate Tax Bill Will Slash Health Care Access for People Living with HIV and Hepatitis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On December 2, 2017, the Senate passed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” a bill that strips health insurance coverage from millions of Americans and jeopardizes continued funding for vital federal healthcare programs in order to provide corporations and the wealthiest Americans massive tax cuts. The bill eliminates the individual mandate, a critical provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without which the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 13 million people will lose health insurance coverage over the next ten years.
 
“It is appalling that the Senate would pass, simultaneously as the nation commemorated World AIDS Day, this mean-spirited bill that will erode the progress this country has made in ending the HIV epidemic,” noted NASTAD Executive Director Murray Penner. “Eliminating the individual mandate without any proposal to ensure balanced risk pools is just a back-door way to repeal the ACA with no replacement, something Senate Republications had vowed they would not do. In combination with the massive increase in the deficit, this bill will have a significant impact on our ability to fund programs that provide lifesaving prevention, care, and treatment for people living with HIV and hepatitis.”
 
“Moving forward, we urge Congress to continue to protect access to insurance and Medicaid and to fully fund HIV and hepatitis public health programs,” Penner concluded. NASTAD will continue to educate Congress on the importance of preserving coverage, affordability, and lifesaving services for people living with and at risk for HIV and hepatitis and is eager to work with Congress on bipartisan solutions to make the healthcare system work better.

About NASTAD

Founded in 1992, NASTAD is a leading non-partisan non-profit association that represents public health officials who administer HIV and hepatitis programs in the U.S. and around the world. Our singular mission is to end the intersecting epidemics of HIV, viral hepatitis, and related conditions. We do this work by strengthening domestic and global governmental public health through advocacy, capacity building, and social justice.

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