Ask a Policy Wonk: Election 2012 and HIV

What’s at stake for people with HIV on November 6? Quite a lot, according to the foundation’s Director of Legislative Affairs, Ernest Hopkins, and Courtney Mulhern-Pearson, Director of State and Local Affairs.

“The most important outcome from the election is whether the Affordable Care Act designed by President Obama will be maintained or repealed,” says Hopkins. “Health care access for 30 million uninsured Americans is at stake.” Mulhern-Pearson points out that changes to funding for Medicare—currently the largest payer for medical care for HIV-positive people—could render the program less robust for people with high-cost medical conditions. Adds Hopkins, “Programs like Ryan White, which enjoys broad bipartisan support, and others like HIV prevention at the CDC…are all under review in the context of the next federal budget and health care reform.”

So what’s a concerned voter to do? Says Mulhern-Pearson, “I would encourage people to understand the candidates’ commitment to maintaining the ‘safety net’ of supportive programs for people with HIV and public health programs that work toward preventing new HIV infections.” To learn more, read the full Q&A on the BETA blog.


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