Former Trump HIV/AIDS advisers rip Senate GOP healthcare bill

Former Trump HIV/AIDS advisers rip Senate GOP healthcare bill

Three former members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) who resigned on Saturday over Trump's apparent lack of interest in their work are attacking the Senate bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

"I would say it's at least as bad as the old House one — maybe worse, depending on where it goes from here," Scott Schoettes told BuzzFeed News on Thursday.

Schoettes works for Lambda Legal, a group that works for "full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV," according to the group's website.

He predicts the Senate bill — released Thursday — will literally kill people.

"It will kill people — that's not hyperbole. There will be some people who will die from this," Schoettes said to BuzzFeed. "Most conservative Republicans who want deeper cuts have already come out against the bill, which means if it's going to move anywhere it's just going to become worse instead of being improved."

Another former PACHA member predicted that more Americans would be forced into bankruptcy thanks to high emergency medical costs if the Senate bill passes.

"I fear we are going backwards, back to a place where people went bankrupt trying to pay for medical emergencies," Gina Brown told BuzzFeed in an email.


Senate Republicans unveiled their version of the bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare Thursday. The bill includes deep cuts to Medicaid and would defund Planned Parenthood for a year.

According to the PACHA — which lost six members over the weekend — 40 percent of Americans with HIV depend on Medicaid to pay their medical bills.

"Although the Senate bill will make cuts to Medicaid more slowly, it's being reported that over the long term, the Senate bill will result in deeper cuts to Medicaid than even the House bill did," said Ulysses Burley III, another former member of PACHA. He accused Senate Republicans of putting "party over people."