According to a story in the Austin Statesman, Federal law doesn’t deliver HIV care as promised.” The ACA, per the story, “brought a lot of hope … but the law didn’t live up to expectations” because … “the plans on the federally created health insurance exchange, the Internet-based marketplace where consumers can compare and buy health plans, didn’t offer affordable ways to buy the life-saving medications” or allow patients to see “physician with expertise in HIV and AIDS.
Carl Schmid, the deputy executive director at the David Powell Clinic AIDS Institute, blamed insurance companies that offer plans that he said discriminate against HIV and AIDS patients and require huge out-of-pocket payments for their expensive medications.
“They are designing their benefits in such a way to dissuade people with HIV and other conditions from choosing their plans,” he said, “and that’s against the law.” Schmid’s national public policy group filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The case is pending.
David Wright, one of the first physicians in Central Texas to treat AIDS patients, said, “For a lot of patients, it actually created more barriers. It’s kind of overwhelming.”
Peter Pitts, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official and current president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, echoed Wright’s assessment. He said before the law’s rollout, the standard talking point of proponents was that people shouldn’t have to choose between food or medicine.
“Unfortunately not only did the ACA not solve that problem, it made it worse,” Pitts said. “That’s shameful.”
The complete story can be found here.