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JULY 13, 2012
House Votes To Repeal ACA (Again)

On Wednesday the House of Representatives voted 244-185 to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This was the 31st effort to repeal the law, causing Washington Post blogger Sarah Kliff to quip that "House Republicans will then have had as many health-repeal votes as Baskin Robbins has ice cream flavors." It should be noted that there were actually three votes in the sequence that led to passage of the repeal bill so there have now been 33 actual votes.

The vote on H.R. 6079, the "Repeal of Obamacare Act" introduced July 9th by Majority Whip Eric Cantor, took place mostly along party lines: all Republicans voted in favor of repeal and all but 5 Democrats voted against repeal. The Democrats who crossed party lines are: Dan Boren (D-OK), Larry Kissell (D-NC), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Mike McIntyre (D-NC) and Mike Ross D-AR). Representatives Boren and Ross are retiring at the end of this session and the others face very strong reelection competition in conservative-leaning districts.

Although Republicans have stated that they plan to "repeal and replace" the law, there has not yet been an effort to define a replacement law that would create broad new health insurance coverage. A basic problem for the Republicans is that the Affordable Care Act largely implements a conservative designed plan, similar to the plan that then-Governor Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts. That plan was co-opted by President Obama and Congressional Democrats leaving fewer alternatives to expanding health care that conservatives are able to brand as their own. The repeated votes appear to serve the conservative goals of forcing some Democrats in conservative leaning swing Districts to support a plan that is unpopular with the conservative base while at the same time creating a repetitive message that the Republican Party strongly disapproves of the ACA. The actual chances of repeal during this session of Congress are essentially zero since the Senate is not expected to take up repeal legislation and the President certainly would not sign a law repealing the signature accomplishment of his first term.

In the meantime new analysis of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act continues to emerge. Most recently Clinical Professor Robert Greenwald of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School and an AIDS United Public Policy Committee Member presented a webinar, "The Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act Decision: What does it mean for people with HIV?" Slides from the webinar can be found at HIVHealthReform.org:


The results of the vote can be found here:


Another Tool in the ToolBox

On Tuesday, July 3, 2012, OraSure Technologies, Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  approved the company's OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, which would be available for purchase online and at retail stores beginning in October. AIDS United interviewed  Ace Robinson of GMHC and Joseph Interrante of Nashville CARES to get their opinions concerning FDA's approval of the first and only rapid over-the-counter HIV test.

Click here to read the interview.

Rebuilding and Healing

On May 24, 2012, Women With A Vision (WWAV), a member of our AIDS United and Southern REACH family, fell victim to arson. While the crime is still under investigation, the women who embody and those who look for comfort in and through WWAV, are doing their best to move on. The surrounding community, clients, and peer advocates, as well as national and international partners and supporters have answered their cry for help. Assistance has varied from heartfelt $1.00 to thousands, such as a $5,000 donation from AIDS United, and from the provision of temporary office space within a local church to the potential for donated property. Although they have come a long way from where they were in the immediate aftermath of the fire, with the slow to start resumption of services, much healing has yet to manifest.

Click here to read AIDS United Program Manager Maya Wyche's blog post about the WWAV rebuilding.


PictureAdvocacy Toolkit: "HIV Legislative Week in Washington, D.C.: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Influencing Policy on Capitol Hill"

Thousands of HIV/AIDS advocates from across the country will assemble in Washington, D.C. for the 2012 International AIDS Conference (IAC), marches and mobilizations and to view the AIDS Quilt in late July and early August. This is a tremendous opportunity for the HIV/AIDS community to tell their legislators about the needs of people living with HIV in the United States.

AIDS United, along with our partners the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), theTreatment Access Expansion Project (TAEP), AIDSWatch, and the POZ Army, are seeking at least 500 HIV advocates from the United States to visit their Members of Congress while they are here in July and tell them how to reach an AIDS-free generation. Together we launched an "HIV Legislative Week in Washington, D.C.: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Influencing Policy on Capitol Hill" advocacy toolkit. This advocacy toolkit is specifically designed for HIV/AIDS advocates and packed with how-to guides, helpful tips and editable resources on how conduct successful legislative visits.

In addition, AIDS United, AIDSWatch, NAPWA, POZ Army and TAEP will be offering advocacy and communication opportunities throughout the conference and at the display of the AIDS Quilt!

Pledge to join hundreds -- even thousands -- other HIV advocates in visiting your Members of Congress while you are in Washington, D.C. for the International AIDS Conference!

HIV/AIDS Advocates Katy Caldwell and Scot More Featured on NPR

HIV/AIDS advocates Katy Caldwell (Executive Director of Legacy Community Health Services and AIDS United Public Policy Committee member) and Scot More (Community Resource Manager of Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County) were featured as speakers on Tuesday, July 2's National Public Radio (NPR) Morning Edition segment titled "Advocates Worry Texas won't Expand Medicaid." They both expressed concerns for Texas's inflexibility in regards to development its health insurance marketplace and possible rejection of Medicaid money from the federal government.

Click here to listen to the NPR segment or read the transcript.

Hastings Introduces Resolution Recognizing 2012 International AIDS Conference

On Friday, June 29, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) introduced H.Res.713 in support of the 2012 International AIDS Conference (IAC) and to reconfirm the United States' commitment to addressing the global HIV/AIDS epidemic through research, prevention, and treatment programs. The 2012 IAC will be hosted in Washington, D.C. from July 22 to 27 and expected to attract over 20,000 delegates from 200 countries.

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.

Click here to read the statement on Congressman Hastings' website .

Click here to read H.Res.713 .

Attending the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC?

Join the important conversation about the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy - its key accomplishments, challenges, and future directions - that will take place on Sunday afternoon, July 22, 2012 from 1:30-3:30 PM in Session Room 9 at the Convention Center. The satellite session, titled "Achieving the Goals of the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Future Directions," is being organized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will feature federal, state, and community perspectives on implementation of the two-year old strategy. This satellite session will take advantage of this unprecedented gathering of those working in the field of HIV and will engage representatives from diverse sectors in a dialogue about NHAS accomplishments to date and how we can best move forward together to achieve the strategy's vision and goals. With pursuit of the NHAS goals in the forefront of U.S. participants' minds, AIDS 2012 will serve as a rich venue to learn about best practices -- and overcoming challenges -- from colleagues across the country and from other nations. These valuable lessons can inform and advance all facets of our own local, state, regional, and national efforts to treat and prevent HIV and turn the tide together. Read more about the session in Dr. Ronald Valdiserri's recent blog post,  < http://blog.aids.gov/2012/05/aids-2012-satellite-meeting-on-implementation-of-the-national-hivaids-strategy.html >.

New HHS Funding Initiative Focuses Largely on Southern States
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a 3-year, $44 million Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) on June 8, 2012, focused largely on Deep South states with the goal of reducing HIV-related deaths and associated health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. Eighteen state health departments are eligible to apply for funding, including 12 in the South. Twenty-five percent of funds received by state health departments must go to community based organizations.

Application Deadline Date: July 31, 2012, 11:59pm ET

To Access the Announcement & Application Package:

  1. Go to: www.grants.gov
  2. Select: "For Applicants"
  3. Select: "Find Grant Opportunities"
  4. Select: "Basic Search"
  5. Type in the Funding Opportunity Number, formatted as: CDC-RFA-PS12-1210.

2012 HIV/AIDS Law & Practice Conference
The American Bar Association (ABA) AIDS Coordinating Committee will convene its sixth biannual HIV/AIDS Law and Practice Conference on July 20-21, 2012, at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C., immediately preceding the XIX International AIDS Conference in D.C. Conference topics and participants will be multi-disciplinary and reflect both domestic and international issues in HIV/AIDS-related law, policy and practice.

Click here to register for the conference !

XIX International AIDS Conference - Still Time to Register!
The XIX International AIDS Conference, to be held July 22-27 in Washington DC, will host an expected 200 countries, 2,000 journalists, and 25,000 participants to address this year's theme of "Turning the Tide Together."

Find out more information about registration .

Find other important deadlines .

July 24th HIV Mobilization Planned at International AIDS Conference
Large scale actions have traditionally taken place at each International AIDS Conference to draw public and media attention to HIV prevention, treatment and research. As the time for the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. approaches, some local and national HIV groups are continuing this tradition by calling for a community mobilization around human rights and economic justice on July 24th.

More information about the mobilization can be found here.

Want To Help Make History Demanding Female Condoms?

What could break a world record AND save lives at the same time? A paper doll!!

Thousands of paper dolls from dozens of countries will appear at the International AIDS Conference to demand accessible and affordable female condoms for all who need them. Each doll holds a unique message - representing the voice of one person demanding female condoms. Organizers of the Paper Dolls Campaign hope to present 28,000 dolls (almost four miles long to break the current Guinness World Record for the longest paper doll chain.

To do so, we need YOUR voice! Click here to write your message so it can be placed on a paper doll and added to the growing chain. It's fast and free. Be part of making history and, more importantly, saving lives by making effective HIV prevention accessible worldwide.

AIDS United Hiring Regional Field Organizer
AIDS United seeks a Regional Field Organizer to work with its grantees, partners, and allies to implement a coordinated national organizing strategy. The Regional Field Organizer will help mobilize grassroots state and federal HIV/AIDS-related advocacy to achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The Regional Field Organizer will be located in Texas.

Learn more about the Regional Field Organizer position .

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