Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned from their positions last week, citing “a president who simply does not care” in a Newsweek op-ed about their decision.
The six resigning members, who between them hold seven graduate degrees, pointed to the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the final straw in convincing them to resign.
Under the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid benefits, the council members write that they saw a measurable increase in the number of people with HIV/AIDS who could access medical treatment. But Trump’s healthcare reforms propose cuts to Medicaid, which would “be particularly devastating for people living with HIV.” (Even with the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility, only 40 percent of HIV/AIDS patients can access “life-saving medications,” according to the op-ed.)
We know who “the biggest losers will be,” wrote Scott A. Schoettes, one of the resigning members, on behalf of the group. “It will be people — many of them people of color — across the South and in rural and underserved areas across the country, the regions and communities now at the epicenter of the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic."
“It will be young gay and bisexual men; it will be women of color; it will be transgender women; it will be low-income people.”