Health Care Reform’s One Year Anniversary

Health Care Reform’s One Year Anniversary
Wednesday, March 23, marked the one year anniversary of the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While the legislation won’t be fully implemented until the 2014, progress has already been made to ensure that all Americans, including people living with HIV/AIDs have access to quality, affordable health care. While celebrating this accomplishment, it’s also critical that the HIV/AIDS community stay vigilant, as Republicans push to repeal and/or defund the legislation.

NMAC is closely tracking implementation of health care reform, as well as efforts to repeal it in Congress.

Read NMAC’s statement on efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act here »

Learn more about how the Affordable Care Act benefits people living with HIV/AIDS here »

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NMAC Educates Congress about ADAP Crisis
The ADAP Coalition, of which NMAC is a member, hosted a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill to highlight the urgent need for increased funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). ADAPs are state run programs (mostly funded by the federal government) that provide lifesaving medications to HIV positive people that are uninsured but do not qualify for Medicaid/Medicare or other prescription coverage. Currently over 7,500 people are on waiting lists to enter the program because of increased enrollment and budget cuts in many states suffering from fiscal crises.

Congress is cognizant of the need for increased funding which was indicated by a proposed $42 million dollar ADAP increase in the House budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2011 and a $78 million dollar increase in the Senate version of their budget proposal. Although these increases will not meet the true need, the ADAP Coalition is advocating that at least $78 million dollar increases be included in the final reconciled bill approved by both chambers.

Addressing the ADAP crisis is especially important in communities of color as African Americans and Latinos comprise over 55% of all current ADAP recipients nationwide.

Watch a short video about how ADAP has changed the life of a New Orleans man living with AIDS here »

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Long-Time AIDS Advocate, Elizabeth Taylor, Dies
News broke, Wednesday morning, March 23, that actress and AIDS advocate, Elizabeth Taylor, had died in Los Angeles at the age of 79. As an early and fierce advocate and a leader in the struggle against HIV/AIDS, Ms. Taylor will be sorely missed, but she leaves behind a legacy of compassion and charity that will inspire for many years to come.

Read NMAC’s statement on the passing of Elizabeth Taylor here »

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Congress Passes another Short-Term Spending Bill
Last week, Congress passed yet another short-term spending bill, known as a Continuing Resolution, which will fund the government through April 8. The legislation was an attempt to avoid yet another potential government shutdown when the previous bill expired on March 18.

While efforts by House Republicans to dramatically cut spending, including family planning and prevention services, pose a tremendous danger to public health, the current budget stalemate has placed considerable burdens on HIV/AIDS organizations, whose funding streams remain uncertain.

NMAC will continue to follow the budget fight in Congress and update its constituents on any important developments.

Read NMAC’s statement on the most recent Continuing Resolution here »

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National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Sunday, March 20, was the fifth annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness. The purpose of NNHAAD is to raise awareness of the increasingly severe impact the epidemic has had on Native populations and encourage education and testing within those communities.

While making up only a tiny percentage of the overall population, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the third highest rate of HIV infection in the U.S. What’s more, the survival rates of those diagnosed with the disease are lower than any other ethnic/racial group in the country, with the exception of African Americans.

Learn more about NNHAAD here »

Read NMAC’s release in support o f NNHAAD here »

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About NMAC
The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) builds leadership within communities of color to address challenges of HIV/AIDS. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced this mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous publications and a website: http://www.nmac.org/.

Today, NMAC is an association of AIDS service organizations providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the AIDS epidemic. NMAC’s advocacy efforts are funded through private funders and donors only.

For more information, contact NMAC directly at (202) 483-NMAC (6622) or communications@nmac.org.

About NMAC on the Hill
NMAC wants to make sure that our constituents are up to date on the latest activities in Congress and around Washington, DC that affect HIV/AIDS programs, funding, and the broader movement. To accomplish this, we will be sending regular updates on legislation, meetings and other happenings in the nation’s capital to keep you informed on what matters to our community.

Click here to email this message to a friend. To sign up for NMAC on the Hill, click here.

Visit the agency online at http://www.nmac.org/

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