In an interview with Bay Area Reporter, Card Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, said “insurers need to get their act together.” Schmid, who worked with Campbell’s office to draft the letter to the CDC, noted that although the federal health agency has started the process to create a billing code, he hopes “the letter will add pressure on them to make sure it will happen. PrEP and its associated services are supposed to be free to people with insurance. We need to make sure that anyone who wants PrEP can get it easily,” Schmid said. “Unfortunately, implementation has not gone smoothly.… We are glad that the attorneys general, who are charged with reviewing for violations of the law, are on top of it.”
Biden proposes one-third increase in HIV/AIDS prevention funding
Carl Schmid told the B.A.R. that it’s going to be hard for Biden to get his proposals. The amount in last year’s final budget had to be scaled back from $850 million and “that was under a Democratic Congress,” Schmid said. Now, the House of Representatives is under Republican control. “I think it’s sufficient,” Schmid said about Biden’s proposal. “It’s a good start. It’s not enough because we need other things, including $6 million for AIDS housing at HUD,” he said, referring to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Hopeful HIV and hepatitis news in Biden’s proposed 2024 budget
“President Biden’s budget is yet another demonstration of his leadership in ending HIV,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, in a press statement from that organization. “[Biden] recognizes the historic role the federal government must play and the investments needed to end infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C.”
LGBTQ Agenda: 22 AGs ask CDC to make new PrEP billing code to avoid erroneous copays
Carl Schmid, a gay man who is the executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, worked with Campbell’s office on drafting the letter. “Through their [the Massachusetts’ AG’s office] investigation and others, correct use of billing codes for PrEP has been identified as a barrier. There are several codes providers can use and insurers have not stepped up to solve this problem,” Schmid stated. “Having a standard billing code, as has been requested by the 22 attorneys general, should help alleviate these problems,” he added. “We understand that the CDC had already begun the process, but the letter will add pressure on them to make sure it will happen.”
Biden budget earmarks funds for HIV along with new programs for PrEP, hepatitis C
The $6.8 trillion budget unveiled by President Joe Biden on Thursday includes increased investment in existing programs to fight HIV/AIDS, along with new initiatives to expand access to HIV prevention medications and eliminate hepatitis C.
U.S. House Republicans are expected to kill the proposal, which is nevertheless seen as a possible blueprint for the major themes to come in Biden’s expected reelection campaign.
Major focus areas of the plan include deficit reduction, increased taxes for the wealthy, and increased spending on the military and other endeavors to compete with China.
The HIV + Hepatitis Policy Institute praised the budget in a press release Thursday, writing that it will “significantly increase the federal resources necessary to end both HIV and hepatitis C.” The group’s president, Carl Schmid, said Biden “recognizes the historic role the federal government must play, and the investments needed to end infectious diseases.”