( Washington D.C., January 11, 2017 ) As the Senate prepares to defund the Affordable Care Act ( ACA ), Lambda Legal's HIV Project Director, Scott Schoettes, and Transgender Rights Project, Director M. Dru Levasseur, issued the following statements:
Scott Schoettes, HIV Project Director, Lambda Legal:
"The ACA has had a transformative impact on the health and well-being of people living with HIV. It is one of the most important pieces of legislation in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the history of the epidemic.
"When Congress enacted the ACA in 2010, only 17% of people living with HIV had private health insurancea disheartening statistic given the dramatically improved health outcomes and reduced likelihood of transmission when people have consistent care. Congress must safeguard the health of people living with HIVthis is a life and death matter."
M. Dru Levasseur, Transgender Rights Project Director, Lambda Legal:
"The ACA is the best pathway we have for transgender people to access healthcare without discrimination. If healthcare providers, doctors and insurers provide services for non-transgender people, they must also provide that care for transgender people.
"Just last week we filed a case under the ACA on behalf of a transgender man who was denied a medically necessary hysterectomy by a hospital that routinely performs that surgery. Discrimination has no place in healthcare, and we will keep fighting for the health and well-being of all transgender people living in this country."
Lambda Legal is urging people across the country to call their Senators and Representatives and tell them that any repeal of the ACA must be accompanied by a replacement plan that protects people living with HIV and transgender Americans. The organization says the U.S. cannot go back to a time where people with pre-existing conditions can be denied coverage and health insurers can discriminate based on a person's health or gender. Or when most people with HIV could not afford the coverage offered, and did not qualify for Medicaid until they were very poor and became sick and disabled.