how the Supreme Courtís Obamacare Ruling Fails Poor Black Women With HIV
State discretion on Medicaid expansion is particularly troublesome for black women living with HIV, says C. Virginia Fields, CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. ďIn six of the 26 states that brought the Supreme Court challenge, we have large pockets of Black women living in poverty and with AIDS: Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. We had hoped that the Medicaid expansion would allow uninsured women diagnosed with HIV to qualify for Medicaid sooner so that they would be able to receive treatment before the onset of AIDS. Under the Supreme Court ruling, I doubt if thereís going to be any relaxing of those standards.Ē
3. Consider a state like Mississippi..a preacher-governor who will fight providing medicine to the poor
at all costs. 14 years ago I was diagnosed with AIDS. I was devastated and joined a support group including several young black women with no insurance. I have insurance. I only went to one meeting-the reality of the nightmare these women faced made me feel too priviliged. Yeah, I'm a poor white boy without a whole lot of assets but at least I had insurance.
I'm still alive now, for no better reason than the fact that the color of my skin gave me a decent chance that those women never had. I doubt a single one survives today. And most horrific of all-things have gotten worse since then. What little federal money that was available then is long gone. They have even fewer options today than in 1998 but there is no one willing to tell their stories so they die silently.