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Braidwood v. Becerra Threatens Public Health, HIV Progress

Avita CEO Michael Yount explains why the recent Braidwood ruling could roll back decades of progress in HIV prevention and public health engagement.
Avita Care Solutions Statement on Braidwood v. Becerra

At Avita, we believe health care is a human right. Our mission revolves around removing barriers for the underserved communities historically unable to access compassionate, comprehensive, and affordable health care, focusing on eliminating health inequities for our patients seeking HIV treatment and prevention, LGBTQ+, and sexual wellness care.

So, let me be clear about Avita’s position on Braidwood Management v. Becerra: We believe this ruling directly threatens public health and our nation’s fight to end HIV.

We believe Braidwood Management v. Becerra directly threatens public health and our nation's fight to end HIV.

A ruling based on thinly veiled discrimination

In Braidwood Management v. Becerra, the March 30th ruling from Judge Reed O’Connor in U.S. District Court for Northern Texas struck down part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires health plans to fully cover certain preventive medical services, including screening tests, immunizations, behavioral counseling, contraceptives, and medications to prevent the onset or progression of illnesses and health conditions, including HIV, STIs, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.

It’s 2023. Not only can those living with HIV thrive, but HIV is overwhelmingly preventable when we make PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) easily accessible to the communities that need it. Unfortunately, more than a decade after its release, a frustrating web of misinformation stands in the way of PrEP’s (a medication that can help patients reduce the risk of getting HIV by up to 99 percent and has been given a grade A recommendation by the US Preventative Services Task Force) effective adoption.

Thinly veiled discriminatory decisions like Braidwood could potentially roll back years of scientific progress in the battle to end HIV. In fact, a new report from the Yale School of Public Health shows the ruling could result in more than 2,000 entirely preventable HIV infections in the coming year alone.

It also could reverse years of headway made in engaging consumers to seek preventative health care: More than half of patients recently surveyed said they’d forgo preventive health care if the ACA’s no-cost services were dismantled. And 52 percent said they wouldn’t pay for HIV screenings if their insurance no longer covered them. What does this mean for our nation’s goal to end HIV by 2030?

Thinly veiled discriminatory decisions like Braidwood could potentially roll back years of scientific progress in the battle to end HIV.

Avita stands in solidarity with our patients, partners, and local communities

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a notice of appeal against Judge O’Connor’s decision striking down part of the ACA that requires health plans to fully cover certain preventive medical services. We await guidance from relevant federal agencies.

We stand in solidarity with our patients, covered entity partners, and local communities when it comes to our staunch disregard for the Braidwood ruling. But it’s imperative to emphasize that its impact goes way beyond HIV prevention meds. The ruling opens the door to making vital preventative health care services—from cancer screenings to mental health counseling—inaccessible to millions of Americans. This ruling is not just playing the game of politics. It is playing with people’s lives.

Rest assured that Avita’s dedication to raising our collective voices for the health equity of those we serve is stronger than ever. Working with our covered entity partners, advocacy groups, industry thought leaders, and team members, we’ll continue to spotlight the pivotal role PrEP—and accessible preventative care as a whole—plays in compassionately caring for patients from all walks of life.

Michael Yount
CEO, Avita Care Solutions

Michael Yount headshot

Michael Yount

CEO, Avita Care Solutions

Michael Yount brings over 20 years of experience in health care to Avita. Prior to joining the organization, he served as executive vice president, chief of staff, and chief compliance officer at WellCare Health Plans, a national Medicare and Medicaid managed care organization. While at WellCare, Michael was responsible for HIPAA and information security, internal audit, enterprise business transformation, and project management. Prior to joining WellCare, Michael spent nine years with Rite Aid Corporation, ultimately serving as vice president. Throughout his career, Michael has successfully helped companies navigate complex regulatory agency requirements and has led large-scale business transformations. Michael received both his pharmacy and law degrees from Ohio Northern University.

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