The following is a statement from National Minority AIDS Council Director of Legislative and Public Affairs Kali Lindsey:
Washington, DC – “Moments ago, the House of Representatives passed the Sequester Reconciliation Act of 2012 (H.R. 5652). This legislation, championed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and conservative House leadership, would reduce the deficit on the backs of the nation’s poor and uninsured, by reducing or eliminating billions in funding for health care and nutritional aid, while brazenly dismissing any tax increases on even the nation’s wealthiest citizens.
“H.R. 5652 would have a devastating impact on minority communities across the United States, especially those living with and at increased vulnerability for HIV. Among many troubling provisions, this legislation would eliminate funding to help states establish health insurance exchanges; eliminate increases in Medicaid funding for U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, despite considerably higher rates of poverty; eliminate requirements that states maintain current Medicaid eligibility standards until 2014; abolish the Prevention and Public Health Fund; and reduce subsidies to assist low-income Americans to purchase health insurance.
“Time and again, House Republicans have shown a shameful disregard for the health of America’s poor and vulnerable. Under the guise of deficit reduction, Chairman Ryan and his cohorts have sought to roll back reforms included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. At the same time, they continue to push further tax cuts for the nation’s wealthiest corporations and individuals. Investing in our health care infrastructure will reduce long-term health care costs for chronic conditions like HIV, while ensuring a healthy and productive work force. Placing the burden of deficit reduction on the shoulders of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens is both shortsighted and morally reprehensible.”