March 30, 2023 – The following is a statement from NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata on a federal district court ruling that would allow insurance companies to avoid providing preventive medical care, including PrEP medication, to their employees.
“Today’s cruel and reckless ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor senselessly strips away access to preventive care like cancer screenings and life-saving HIV prevention medication for millions of Americans. The ruling deals a particularly cruel blow to the communities most impacted by the nation’s ongoing health disparities and the HIV epidemic – especially Black and Latinx communities that comprised 47% and 24% of new HIV infections in 2020, respectively. It cannot be allowed to stand, and we are calling on the Biden administration to appeal it immediately.
“Access to preventive care shouldn’t depend on a single radical judge who is far outside the judicial mainstream. This is a literal life-and-death issue, and allowing the decision to remain in place will increase the number of Americans who suffer — and potentially die — from preventable illnesses because of other people’s religious beliefs and anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry. That notion couldn’t be more deeply un-American.
“NMAC has worked for decades to advance treatment, prevention, and advocacy on behalf of communities of color impacted by HIV and other diseases, and we will continue to fight for the lives of those at the highest risk of infection and illness. We hope the Biden administration will appeal the decision and stand up to out-of-touch judges in order to protect the most vulnerable among us.”
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.