Today is National HIV Testing Day. Tomorrow, June 28th, we expect the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And next week, on July 4th, as a country, we celebrate our independence.
Yet, for many of us, our independence is stifled by the attacks on reproductive health or by rising health care costs or a lack of health insurance coverage - either being underinsured or uninsured.
Despite the negative focus on the individual mandate, etc., the ACA, also known as the health care law, has tremendous benefits. It will give Americans the independence they need to care for themselves and their families. It will bring us closer to eliminating the need to decide whether to put food on the table or purchase a prescription or receive a much needed medical test or exam.
In the ACA, there is a menu of preventive health services with no-co pay including HIV testing! This means, should the health care law withstand the legal challenge, no one will have an excuse not to get an HIV test.
However, as we await a decision, if you have the means to obtain an HIV test, today is the perfect day to schedule an appointment or take advantage of a free testing event since it’s National HIV Testing Day. And there are many providers who offer low-cost testing throughout Pennsylvania.
The ACA also prevents insurance companies from denying coverage or discriminating against individuals based on a pre-existing condition. This is an important clause for anyone living with HIV/AIDS or another chronic disease.
After everything is said and done, the health care law is a step in the right direction and we hope it will survive the scrutiny by the Supreme Court. Read more about what’s included in the health care law at: www.healthcare.gov and be sure to spread the word. It will truly help Americans live long, healthy lives.