The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment and protection of black LGBT people, including those living with HIV/AIDS.
In a statement released Tuesday, the NBJC announced opposition to the Republicans’ proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, called the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
“If passed into law, [AHCA] would not only repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and key provisions that have provided access to healthcare insurance for over 20 million Americans, it would fundamentally undermine the ability of many of the most vulnerable people, including people with pre-existing conditions, to benefit from life-saving medical treatment in our nation,” NBJC said in their statement.
“Because the AHCA and the recent additions to the legislation would negatively impact the health and wellness of millions of Americans, including Black LGBTQ people, and presents and immediate threat to the stability of our nation’s public health system, NBJC will work to see that this current measure fails, and a more effective and humane proposal is passed into law,” the statement continued.
If passed, the AHCA would defund Planned Parenthood, a service offering people of all genders essential health care and services. In some rural communities, Planned Parenthood is the sole provider of HIV and Hepatitis C treatment, the NBJC contends.
The new act would also reduce federal spending on Medicaid by $880 billion between 2017 and 2026, requiring states to make up the difference. Medicaid expansion would also be phased out in 2020.
“The Republican-led plan in the House of Representatives to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act is simply a plan to strip access to health care to low-income people, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations in our nation,” Isaiah Wilson, the NBJC Director of External Affairs said in the statement.
Wilson goes on to state that over 24 million Americans would lose health care coverage if the ACA is replaced. The new act will also increase the average health care premiums by 15 to 20 percent in 2018 and 2019, Wilson predicted, and premiums would also increase for seniors and low-income individuals.
“As a person living with HIV, this proposed move to phase out Medicaid expansion is deeply troubling and will foster more sickness in our nation,” Wilson said. “Prior to the passage of the ACA, many people living with pre-existing conditions like HIV or cancer, would have been denied health insurance coverage until they became extremely sick or disabled.”
“The AHCA along with the recently introduced budget by the Trump Administration would collectively halt our nation’s ability to continue this progress,” Wilson said. “NBJC and our supporters will work tirelessly to stop this legislation and advocate for more inclusive reforms rooted in sound policy.”