GOProud’s chairman Chris Barron co-authored a piece on healthcare reform with US Senator Tom Coburn for The Advocate. I want to open with this commenter at The Advocate, which is typical of the closeminded vitriol of most gay activists:
Seriously? Republicans concerned over GLBTs who have HIV/AIDS and who are scared? I’ve never heard of such a thing. In fact, the last things I remember are GWB slashing funding for HIV/AIDS care and that Nazi Reagan ignoring our community while we died. Republicans, bite me. I’ll never listen to you.
Few people know that Sen. Coburn was personally responsible for re-inserting HIV/AIDS funding into the Federal Budget when Bill Clinton zeroed-it out throughout his Presidency. Inconvenient truths.
But back to the topic at hand: the dangers of government run healthcare for those with HIV/AIDS. Read the whole thing from Coburn & Barron, but here are few excerpts:
The federal government will spend $15 billion on AIDS treatment alone this year, yet due to the inefficiencies of the public-run program, thousands will not receive appropriate care. In recent years, two patients in West Virginia and five in Kentucky died while awaiting care on waiting lists for the RWCA AIDS Drug Assistance Program. Today there are 247 Americans on waiting lists for livesaving AIDS drugs in eight states. The number is expected to reach 500 by Christmas. Those on the ADAP waiting lists are disproportionately minorities and residents of rural areas.
Sadly, the waiting lists do not tell the whole story of how care is being rationed under this program. Many other ADAP patients, while receiving care, are being denied the best treatment. Fuzeon, the AIDS drug of last resort that has been successful in treating patients who no longer benefit from other drugs, for example, has been denied to ADAP patients in our nation’s capital.
With our neighbors in need, no one should question that we have an obligation to help those who lack access to quality, affordable medical care. But how?
The best solution is to prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against patients who are sick or who have preexisting conditions. These are some of the very reasons why we have insurance. Then we should give all Americans the same choices of health care coverage enjoyed by members of Congress, who can select from more than 10 different private health care plans. S. 1099, the Patients’ Choice Act, would guarantee that all Americans would be able to choose the health care coverage that best meets their individual needs with creating a new government program. The Patients’ Choice Act will put you, not insurance companies, bureaucrats, or politicians, in charge of your own health care decisions.
We can and should work to make sure that every man, woman, and child in this country has access to quality, affordable health care. No one should be denied access to health care that would improve or extend their life. The good news is that we can do this. We can do it without creating an inefficient and expensive government program and we can do it in such a way that empowers individuals to take control of their own health care.
RELATED STORY: D.C. officials to scrutinize spending by AIDS groups – Washington Post