SAN FRANCISCO, July 28, 2017—San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Joe Hollendoner issued the following statement applauding the 51 U.S. senators who voted against Senate action to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"Last night, like many of you, I watched with relief as the Senate narrowly defeated the 'skinny repeal' to the Affordable Care Act. People living with and at risk for HIV are among the millions of Americans who rely on the ACA, its Medicaid expansion, insurance subsidies, essential benefits, and protections for pre-existing conditions.
'Skinny repeal' would have caused 16 million Americans to lose their health insurance coverage, but thankfully, that won’t be happening. Our sincere thanks go to the 51 senators who rejected the legislation, and those who committed to making bipartisan improvements to our current system.
Californians had much to lose from 'skinny repeal,' which would have raised health insurances premiums 20% annually by removing the individual and employer mandates to insurance themselves and their employees. The California Medicaid program 'Medi-Cal' is the largest payer of health care, treatment and prevention for people living with and at risk for HIV. The destruction of the entitlement nature of Medicaid, and the resulting draconian cuts to the federal guarantee in both the House and earlier Senate bills put the health care of our clients, and people living with HIV across the nation at risk. California's quality health care system could not have survived the proposed $24 billion annual cut to Medi-Cal, risking the coverage of 5 million of the 14 million Medi-Cal enrollees.
We know the fight is not over. San Francisco AIDS Foundation is committed to ending the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. To do so, we will continue to advocate, at all levels of government, for high quality, culturally appropriate, health care for all. We will also work tirelessly in coalition with our communities to improve current health care laws and systems to address existing gaps in access, affordability, choice, and quality where they exist."