Community Sign-On Letter on 1115 Medicaid Waivers

Community Sign-On Letter on 1115 Medicaid Waivers

We are asking community members (individuals AND organizations) to sign on to the letter below calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue guidance to states on how they can apply for a waiver allowing them to expand their Medicaid programs to cover people living with HIV.  This letter was developed by the HIV Health Care Access Working Group.

To sign-on to the letter, please scroll to the bottom of this page.  The deadline to sign-on is Friday April 15.

March 29, 2011

Dr. Donald Berwick
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard, MS C5-22-23
Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850

Dear Dr. Berwick:

As advocates, providers, and people living with HIV and AIDS, we first want to thank you for your commitment to ensuring that Medicaid meets the care and treatment needs of people with chronic conditions, including people living with HIV and AIDS. In 2014, the Medicaid expansion will allow most currently uninsured people living with HIV and AIDS access to Medicaid coverage; however, as you know, low-income uninsured people living with HIV cannot wait until 2014 to gain access to life-saving care and treatment.

While comprehensive health care, through public or private health insurance, has long been out of reach for many people living with HIV, the access to care crisis is worse today than ever. Today, thousands of people are on AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists across the country. This is tragic given that advances in HIV treatment have largely transformed HIV from a life-threatening disease to a chronic, manageable medical condition.

It is more important than ever to ensure that Medicaid is available to help address the current access to care crisis for low-income, uninsured people living with HIV.  To this end, we encourage CMS to do the following:

•    Implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) commitment to support and promote the development of 1115 waivers by immediately issuing guidance to states that enables them to easily submit successful waivers to cover pre-disabled people living with HIV.

•    Provide states with grants so that they can successfully gather the data and conduct the budget analyses needed to develop successful HIV waiver applications.

•    Appoint a senior-level advisor on HIV at CMS to lead CMS efforts with regard to HIV waivers, the NHAS, and health care reform implementation.  Such a position is critical to ensuring a productive and two-way dialogue between CMS and other government entities and the HIV/AIDS community.

Thousands of people living with HIV and AIDS are depending on CMS leadership and vision to make the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy a reality.

Cindy Mann
Jeffrey Crowley
Ronald Valdiserri

Individuals and Organizations can sign-on in support of this letter below.  The deadline to sign-on is Friday April 15.

Community Letter Sign-on Form

INDIVIDUALS - If you are signing-on as an individual DO NOT include the name of your organization. ORGANIZATIONS - By including the name of your organization, you are indicating that you are authorized to sign your organization on to this letter.

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