As of March 2014, 25 state governments are not expanding Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) even though the federal government would cover the vast majority of costs.
The majority of the states that are not expanding Medicaid are in the south. In these states, an estimated 8.5 million uninsured Americans, who would have qualified for full Medicaid coverage, will most likely remain uninsured.
Medicaid expansion is critical to help fight HIV/AIDS because of the extreme poverty levels of many of those affected. Oftentimes, these individuals have no other health care options.
How will this affect the southern U.S. population going forward?
Unfortunately, if you're uninsured, the only way to find out if you have HIV is when the symptoms are problematic. Sometimes, that is too late.
Medicaid would provide screenings and tests, regular checkups and a way to educate the public about the drastic consequences of HIV/AIDS.
What are organizations like AMFAR doing to try and influence change with Medicaid expansion?
AMFAR's deputy director of public policy, Kali Lindsey, joins Melanie Cole to discuss Medicaid expansion as a tool to fight against HIV/AIDS and other health disparities.