Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy
Week Ending: May 25, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson
Health Equity and Accountability Act Introduced in the House
Rep. Barbara Lee – on behalf of the Congressional Tri-Caucus made up the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus – introduced The Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2018 (HEAA), H.R. 5942. The introduction of HEAA in the Senate will be forthcoming from Sen. Mazi K. Hirono. In addition to Senator Hirono and Rep. Lee, dozens of members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus have co-sponsored the bill.
HEAA builds upon the strengths of the ACA and provides the additional tools necessary to address and eliminate health and health care disparities experienced by minority and underserved communities. The bill will eliminate existing access barriers to affordable health insurance coverage, promote investments in innovative health delivery methods and technologies, and advance research and data collection about the health needs and outcomes of diverse communities. The bill also ensures that a full range of culturally and linguistically appropriate health care and public health services are available and accessible in every community, creates a pipeline and new training opportunities for minority-serving professional and allied health care workers, and incorporates strategies to address a range of disease-specific mental and behavioral health issues facing minority communities. These are all important steps toward eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities, and creating a sustainable health care system that can pave the road to health equity. For more information,
READ this op-ed co-authored by Reps. Lee and Chu in The Hill → http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/388977-health-equity-bill-offers-blueprint-for-nation-at-time-of; https://www.apiahf.org/resource/heaa_section_overview/
Trump Administration Proposes ‘Domestic Gag’ Rule
On May 22, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a proposed change to a regulation that would affect the Title X program. Federally-funded Title X family planning clinics play a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and preventive health services. The proposed regulation change would restrict family planning funding from certain health-care providers, such as Planned Parenthood, and block providers that participate in the Title X program from referring their patients for abortions. It is being referred to as the domestic gag rule, as it would likely prevent federal funding from going to any health clinic that even mentions abortion as an option for women. Comments on the proposed rule would be due 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. However, HHS has not yet announced when it publish the proposed regulation. For more information,
READ → https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-new-domestic-gag-rule-planned-parenthood_us_5afef8cce4b0a046186b2e39
Understanding the Trump Administration’s Plan to Lower Prescription Drug Costs
Sarah Jane Tribble from the Kaiser Health Network explained the key elements of the 44-page document entitled “American Patients First; The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs” https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/AmericanPatientsFirst.pdf ) on CBS News’ “Red & Blue.” For more information,
WATCH → https://www.cbsnews.com/video/trumps-feud-with-prescription-drug-costs-began-during-his-campaign-and-continues-today/; https://khn.org/news/watch-whats-in-the-white-house-plan-to-lower-drug-prices/?utm_campaign=KHN%20-%20Weekly%20Edition&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=63242968&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–hb5VddnTmF2_hUdnmdQqomGW787zhjNampBkczXpbYfijgtABc17Pbkinzk9pZiljhI1d58KusoSIOv7TJ4l2sBqBSA&_hsmi=63242968
What NMAC is Doing About It
- NMAC remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY19 government funding and the existence of the social safety net.
- NMAC releaseda Biomedical HIV Prevention “Blueprint” entitled Expanding Access to Biomedical HIV Prevention: Tailoring Approaches for Effectively Serving Communities of Color, a new report that establishes strategies to effectively use techniques such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Treatment as Prevention (TasP) to end the HIV epidemic in communities of color. The full report can be found by visiting nmac.org/blueprint.
- NMAC will work with partners to determine its response to the pending domestic gag rule
What You Can Do About It.
TAKE ACTION: Speak truth to power by sharing your personal stories with your elected officials. It is vitally important to meet to your federal elected officials when they are at home. If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will? Our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines. Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives need to hear from you.
- Find your U.S. Senators: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- Find your U.S. Representative: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE in time for the primary and general elections happening this year:
For more information, VISIT→ https://www.eac.gov/voters/register-and-vote-in-your-state/
Finally, PARTICIPATE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION(S) in your state:
|District of Columbia||06/19/2018|
For more information, VISIT→ http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2018-state-primary-election-dates.aspx