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South Carolina HIV Task Force

Summary of Legislative Asks

Access to Health Care for South Carolinians Living with HIV Health care access is critically important to increase the number of South Carolinians living with HIV that receive treatment and care.  Expanding treatment will reduce transmissions and help South Carolina end the epidemic. 

  • Invest in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program: The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) has been critical for over 8,800 South Carolinians living with HIV to access needed care. The South Carolina legislature should continue contributing state funds to the ADAP at current levels, or increase its funding to capitalize on this opportunity to end the epidemic.
  • Address Cost Sharing as a Barrier to Treatment: The South Carolina legislature should examine methods to control access to prescription drugs with rising costs. People living with HIV depend on medications for their health and lives.  The legislature should enact a law limiting cost sharing for HIV medications, and prohibit insurers from altering their drug lists mid-year.
  • Defend Consumer Protections in Private Insurance: People living with HIV need robust consumer protections, such as no health status underwriting, to avoid being locked out of the insurance market and getting cut off from care. South Carolina legislators should commit to preserving these and other protections, even if repealed at the federal level.
  • Protect Medicaid: South Carolina legislators should voice their opposition to ending Medicaid’s entitlement funding structure and shifting costs onto the state. South Carolina’s Medicaid program must remain adequately funded to provide treatment and care for people living with HIV.
  • Ensure Financial Support for Access to Meaningful health Insurance: Low income South Carolinians living with HIV need subsidies, tied to their income, to access lifesaving treatment. South Carolina legislators should voice their support for providing this financial assistance.

HIV Criminalization South Carolinians living with HIV face a dehumanizing and dangerous legal environment due to state law that criminalizes HIV-positive status.  These laws discourage responsible behavior – getting tested – and privileged ignorance of HIV status.

  • Remove South Carolina’s Outdated HIV Criminalization Law: The South Carolina legislature can and should take action to stop the criminalization of HIV by removing these outdated laws based on fear and ignorance of modern science. South Carolina Code of Laws Section 44-29-145 should be repealed.
  • Follow Guidelines From the Department of Justice: At a minimum, the legislature should follow guidelines from the Department of Justice to “re-examine [these] laws, asses the laws’ alignment with current evidence regarding HIV transmission risk, and consider whether the laws are the best vehicle to achieve their intended purposes.”

Regulation of Pharmacy Benefit Managers South Carolinians living with HIV face barriers to accessing needed medications from their health plans and pharmacy benefit managers.  The legislature has the power to regulate this behavior and expand access to lifesaving medications. 

  • Sponsor the Pharmacy Patient Protection Act: This bill would regulate pharmacy benefit managers and prohibit them from limiting patients’ choice of pharmacy to a very small network – often owned by the pharmacy benefit manager. People living with HIV should be able to access their medications from their preferred pharmacy of choice.  This bill will stop the abusive and opaque practices employed by pharmacy benefit managers that restrict access to HIV medications and ultimately hinder our ability to end the epidemic.

 

 

 

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