May 4, 2017
Dear PWN Community,
We love you. We promise to keep fighting for, and alongside, you.
Today, 217 members of the House knowingly voted to strip over 24 million people of their health care, and make insurance more expensive and less comprehensive for everyone else.
As women living with HIV, including women of trans experience, many of us know all too well the fear, dread and uncertainty of not having access to the health care coverage we need just to survive, let alone thrive. We are outraged that House Republicans today passed cruel legislation intended to dismantle health care for millions of low-income and middle-class Americans in order to give more tax breaks to the richest. Further, this happened on the same day that Trump signed a sweeping executive order that would legalize violations of women’s reproductive rights and discrimination against LGBTQ communities. We understand that these attacks on our communities are absolutely interconnected.
We know that our community is heartbroken and afraid. We worked hard to defeat this legislation. Thank you to all of our members and allies for making phone calls, meeting with legislators and showing up at protests. We lost this round.
But this was one battle, not the war. The so-called “American Health Care Act” (AHCA) as written faces an uphill battle in the Senate—and we will fight it every step of the way, vote by vote, to prevent this catastrophic House vote from denying us the care we depend on. Now is the time to regroup, get smarter, and fight harder. We are committed. Are you with us?
If passed by the Senate, the AHCA will:
- dramatically change Medicaid funding, reducing the amount of funds and allowing states to establish their own eligibility rules. 14 million of those predicted to lose coverage under the AHCA are those who gained coverage through Medicaid expansion under the ACA. Since Medicaid is the single largest source of health care coverage for people living with HIV in the U.S., we are extremely concerned about any changes to funding formulas and eligibility requirements. We will keep fighting to protect Medicaid expansion and funding and to increase access to Medicaid.
- defund Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit health care provider that serves the sexual, reproductive and preventive health care needs of millions of Americans, many of whom do not have other affordable options for those services in their areas. We will keep fighting to protect Planned Parenthood and other providers of quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health services.
- make insurance drastically more expensive for older Americans, many of whom are already struggling to get by.
- leave people with preexisting conditions—like us—at the mercy of state governments, which would be able to seek waivers to requirements that we be treated equally by insurance markets.
We will keep fighting to make affordable access to quality health care a reality for all U.S. residents of all ages, including the 1.2 million of us living with HIV. How?
Check out this list to see how your House representatives voted. They will be going home in district next week, May 5-15. For anyone who voted yes, make sure they know that their vote was unacceptable and is harmful to our community.
Now we shift our focus to the Senate, where the AHCA must be stopped. Our lives depend on it. Sign up here to let us know you’ll be there to make calls and contact your Senators when we need you.
We are right to be furious, outraged, and heartbroken when our elected representatives clearly show us that our lives, dignity, and health do not matter to them. Now let’s turn that into action on the ground and at the ballot box.
In solidarity, sisterhood and action,