Vol 23, 2014 Annals of Health Law 34
THE ACA AND PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS
B. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy
The Obama Administration released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy
(Strategy) on July 13, 2010, just four months after the passage of PPACA.
The Administration designed the Strategy to be a comprehensive roadmap
to greater health outcomes for PLWHA. 38 It encourages governmental
agencies and medical service providers to focus on preventive measures,
target high-risk populations, and ensure access to effective medical
procedures as means to achieve better HIV care nationwide. 39 Although the
Strategy contains no new regulations and has no binding legal effect, it is
significant because it signals the Administration’s acknowledgement that
problems in HIV care persist, and can only be addressed by concerted
efforts by both state and non-state actors. 40
III. PROVISIONS THAT IMPROVE MEDICAL CARE ACCESS
Congress included a number of provisions in PPACA that are intended to
address these health care access issues for PLWHA. 41 It addresses these
issues primarily by expanding popular federal programs42 and issuing
stricter consumer protections. 43 In the public plan arena, the most drastic
change is the expansion of Medicaid. 44 In the private plan arena, the
biggest changes are: ( 1) the prohibition on exclusions based on pre-existing
conditions45 and ( 2) the prohibition on annual and lifetime spending
limits. 46 Although these provisions have the potential to dramatically
improve health care access, their ultimate impact upon PLWHA is still
uncertain because of the effects of National Federation as well as cost and
access problems in the nation’s health care system that PPACA does not
before the passage of PPACA).
38. See WHITE HOUSE, supra note 25, at vii.
39. See id. at viii.
40. See id. at i (stating that supporting a successful implementation of this law is
essential to improving health outcomes for people living with HIV); see also Press Release,
White House Off. of the Press Sec’y, Presidential Memorandum: Implementation of the
National HIV/AIDS Strategy (July 13, 2010), http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-
41. See infra Part III. A-B.
42. See infra Part III. A.
43. See infra Part III. B.
44. 42 U.S. C. A. § 1396a(a)( 10)( A)( i)(VIII) (West, WestlawNext through 2012 P.L. 112-
209); see also Nat’l Fed’n of Indep. Bus. v. Sebelius, 132 S. Ct. 2566, 2572 (2012)
(“Another key provision of the Act is the Medicaid expansion.”).
45. 42 U.S. C. A § 300gg- 3.
46. 42 U.S. C. A § 300gg- 11.