Advocacy & Policy Priorities
Preserve and Strengthen the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has extended health insurance coverage to nearly 25 million Americans, instituted critical patient protections for vulnerable populations, and has begun to lower overall healthcare costs. GSP calls on Congress to work with the Administration to make the necessary reforms to ensure the ACA’s role in the nation’s social and healthcare safety net. Read additional details on how the ACA is addressing the HIV epidemic.
Expand Medicaid in Missouri and Kansas
Missouri and Kansas are among the 18 states yet to expand Medicaid coverage, leaving nearly 293,000 Missourians and 126,000 Kansans without health insurance coverage as a result. By not expanding Medicaid, leaders in both states have placed families in crisis, harmed local economies by rejecting more than $20 billion in additional federal Medicaid dollars, and have forced health systems and rural hospitals to close or scale back needed medical services.12
GSP, a member of the Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance, calls on both the Missouri and Kansas Legislatures and Governors to expand Medicaid and to pull our region from the bottom of states in public health investments. Contact your state legislators wherever you reside.
Overturn HIV Criminalization Laws in Missouri and Kansas
Statutes exist in both states that “impose criminal penalties on persons who know they have HIV and subsequently engage in certain behaviors, most commonly sexual activity without prior disclosure of HIV-positive serostatus.”3 The effects of these laws provide no public health benefit, fall disproportionately on communities of color, and contribute to the fear and stigma that too often pervades these same communities. Rather than spending public resources prosecuting these dubious claims, both states should instead invest in making health services more widely available as well as other strategies known to decrease new HIV infections.