ATLANTA – Thanks to Obamacare and a timely federal grant, Georgia health officials say they have completely wiped out the nation’s longest waiting list to get live-saving HIV medicine to the poor.
“This reduction of our wait list to zero is a remarkable accomplishment, especially considering where we were in 2011,” DHP Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald said in a news release.
Until Thursday, Georgia had a woeful record nationally for the past several years as hundreds of clients waited on the ADAP list to get HIV medicine.
Fitzgerald said state health officials moved HIV-positive people who were on the waiting list to the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program, provided under Obamacare as a safety net for those who cannot otherwise qualify for insurance due to existing health issues.
Georgia also benefitted by getting $8.43 million out of an $80 million pot of federal grants that targeted ADAP waiting lists in 25 states, officials said.
“Eliminating the waiting list required extraordinary work and ingenuity,” J. Patrick O’Neal, DPH health protection director, said in a news release.