April 3, 2023 – The following is a statement from NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata on the announcement that the Biden administration has appealed a federal district court ruling that would allow some private insurance companies to avoid covering preventive medical care, including HIV-prevention medication, to employees.
“NMAC applauds the Biden administration for appealing U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s dangerous ruling last week that put access to life-saving HIV-prevention medication – as well as other preventive measures, like cancer and heart screenings – in jeopardy for millions of Americans. If allowed to stand, the ruling would have a catastrophic impact on vulnerable communities most impacted by the ongoing HIV epidemic, especially Black and Latinx communities in southern states, which the CDC has described as the epicenter of the nation’s HIV epidemic.
“It’s unfathomable that millions of Americans could have their access to preventive care stripped away by one radical judge, with no medical background, on the basis of alleged violations of the plaintiffs’ religious liberty. The Constitution cannot be weaponized to justify the suffering of Americans – especially on the basis of religion. The Biden administration recognizes that, and we commend their swift move to appeal this decision. We hope that a federal appeals court will overturn this cruel and ill-conceived ruling.”
NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our 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 electronic and print materials, and a website: www.nmac.org. NMAC also serves as 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 HIV epidemic.