Equitas Health is committed to ensuring that the Ohio AIDS Coalition’s 30+ years of HIV/AIDS advocacy and policy work continues to move forward and will do so through Equitas Health’s government affairs and public policy initiatives and the work of the Equitas Health Institute.
We are dedicated to standing up for what is right for our patients, our clients, and all Ohioans, whether it is fighting to save the Affordable Care Act, advocating for HIV/AIDS funding, or educating Ohioans on issues like the deceptive Ohio Drug Price Relief Act.
It is a busy time at both the Ohio State Legislature and in The United States Congress. We’re currently focusing our advocacy efforts around 3 critical issues:
- Proposed cuts to HIV prevention, treatment, and support services in the Federal budget.
- Proposed cuts to HIV prevention and treatment in the State budget.
- Senate vote on the American Health Care Act.
Equitas Health is extremely disappointed by the 2018 federal and state budgets recently released. The devastating cuts to HIV and STD prevention programs will be a tremendous setback to decades of progress we have made and will severely impact our efforts of preventing new HIV transmissions and the rising rates of STDs.
The current proposed budget for the State of Ohio presented by Governor Kasich includes a cut by the Ohio House of Representatives of 19% to HIV prevention efforts and unnecessarily reallocates funding focused on HIV care. These funding cuts would severely impact Equitas Health’s statewide HIV prevention and testing efforts. The reallocation of HIV care funding would present challenges to ensuring continuity of care.
Behind closed doors, Senate Republicans are rushing through a health care repeal bill that will take health care from millions. This bill is being pushed through without sharing any details with the public or allowing time for testimony or public debate. Although details are scarce, the Senate’s version of the bill is likely to look much like the House version – meaning it will leave millions of Americans without coverage, make deep cuts to Medicaid, and make health care more expensive.
It is critically important that funding support for Medicaid, HIV programs, and STD prevention programs remain intact.