As we look to the start of a new year, we cannot help but feel proud for what we have been able to accomplish with our many partners in this work. Together we have made important strides towards improving access to high-quality and affordable health care for underserved populations, particularly people living with HIV, HCV, and other chronic illnesses and disabilities.While the incoming President and Congress have indicated that they will seek to dismantle some of these gains, CHLPI remains committed to protecting the advances made over the past eight years.
As proposals emerge to reshape health care, there will be opportunities for us to develop collective responses to promote essential health care services and delivery needs. We look forward to working with you to make sure legislators and regulators hear our voices. In particular, we see the following as key areas for our engagement:
- Defending Medicaid as the primary provider of comprehensive health care to low-income, at-risk populations.
- Continuing the process of ensuring that private health insurance works for people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses by reducing discriminatory insurance coverage practices and defending subsidies to low-income people.
- Promoting the ongoing importance of discretionary health programs, such as the Ryan White program and Title X.
- Ensuring anti-discrimination laws remain in place to protect health care rights.
In our unique position as lawyers who advocate for legal, regulatory, and policy reforms to improve the health of all vulnerable individuals and communities, we are ramping up our capacity to influence the new Administration and work with Congressional leaders in both parties. As we have done for more than 25 years, we will continue working to educate all government officials in an effort to promote health care rights, reduce health disparities, and ensure that any reform proposals address the health and treatment needs of the most vulnerable. We will hold insurance regulators accountable for monitoring and enforcing the health care rights of all Americans. When necessary, we will continue to litigate against discriminatory public and private health insurance practices.
Looking toward 2017, we know there will be challenges to health care rights and access. But many of us have been through previous times of challenge and can remember what it took to get this far, and every day new voices are added to the chorus demanding equality. As advocates for health care, we all know how to raise awareness, mobilize the public, and move the dial forward. Let us continue to work together to improve the health of all underserved populations.
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