No PrEP for the Poor

June 30, 2016

Many of you now reading this are under the illusion that if one is poor, he is covered for all his health needs at zero cost…especially since the advent of Obamacare’s expanded Medicaid. This is poppycock, though exactly what the government and mainstream media want you to believe. (And also the alternative press, so it seems.) The truth is this:

Our state, California, is a blue state, and thus has accepted expanded Medicaid. While I don’t think anyone destitute enough to be eligible for Medi-Cal should be charged any share of cost, the Golden Bear State instituted SOC in 2007 under the watch of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). Though it is absurdly based on the cost of living eighteen years prior: 1989 (and never been raised since)! Which means that Medicaid will not kick in until you’ve paid the remainder of your income above $600. For example, if you collect $1,100 monthly, your SOC will be a whopping $500. PER MONTH.

Other blue states have followed suit, except for a few fair-minded ones such as Minnesota, which charges zilch on incomes below $1,301. For affirmation of my claim, get on the web and check out:

http://www.shareofcost.com/state-assistance/share-of-cost-california.html

How does this impact low-income LGBT’s in San Francisco? Very badly, as you can imagine. “But can’t they go to free services such as the city clinic, to make up for this shortfall?” you may be asking right now. Well, for some things, yes, such as certain vaccinations and STD treatments. But not for preventing or healing AIDS. While they offer PrEP and PEP capsules under Medi-Cal billing, you are still required to match your SOC first. Which is impossible for those collecting Social Security, whose monthly income exceeds $600. (Unless they starve or go homeless in order to cover the cost, I guess.) Thus you’ll be charged out of pocket, the full price. Even though in this meager financial state, you’re lucky if you can cough up ten dollars.

Note: the implications of other medical needs not affordable to most Medi-Cal recipients is horrendous, but I’ll save that for another time.

This means that, while affluent queers now enjoy partying and humping to their heart’s content with no fear of HIV complications, the poor in our community remain stuck in a virtual 1980’s era of the “gay plague.” For should they be unlucky enough to contract that disease (and more likely they will for obvious reasons), low income LGBT’s cannot afford any AIDS treatment, as well. As I walk by billboards and posters of handsome young men smiling because they only need a single pill to vanquish This Demon of Decimation, and live a good life:

I shudder to think of my brothers (and some sisters) who must live in terror and misery due to denial of such a providential cure. Thanks to the wonders of medicine provided only to the affluent for whom the poor, such as myself, remain invisible and even unwelcome. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party elitists pat each other on the back over the “miraculous” success of Medicaid.


See also: Expanded Medicaid = Sick Joke


ADDENDUM

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2016 22:01:46
Subject:
No PrEP for the Poor
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

Ellie,

I am preparing the following letter to send to our gay papers here in SF. It’s short. I’m hoping I can receive your valuable input before I post it.

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2016 23:17:22
Subject:
Re: No PrEP for the Poor
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

On Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 10:48 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

> I think it’s terrific. Powerful, explains it succinctly.

I performed my own investigative reporting by being a client at the city clinic. As I talked to different workers while being tested for this and that, I asked questions. It was difficult to get one counselor to admit that low income gays cannot get PrEP. They were very uncomfortable, especially since I was quite calm and personable while asking them loaded questions, such as:

“I am befuddled that health care workers like yourself, who focus on helping the low income, seem to be clueless about this outrageous Medicaid share of cost.”

and

“Why do you administer penicillin to those who may have been exposed to syphilis before the rapid test result comes in, which only takes ten minutes? I took that test last year, and the outcome was negative, yet I received the penicillin anyway, while waiting for the result. Isn’t that wasteful of resources that should be used sparingly to allay any superbug nightmare? Do you get gov’t money for each shot you administer?”

and

“Obviously I cannot possibly match my share of cost, so what will you bill me for PrEP?”

The counselor would never reveal the fee, and this was before he admitted that the poor can’t afford PrEP, because of this share of cost. Yet, even then, I couldn’t get the actual price for the medication out of him. I wonder if they charge a HUGE amount to Medicaid, and don’t want me to find out.

But, I did benefit by getting the first of three shots of the hepatitis B vaccine, and the vaccine for Invasive Meningococcal Disease which is the latest curse to have started spreading in the LGBT community, especially Los Angeles and Chicago. It is a very deadly microbe, and easily spread by sharing saliva, such as through kissing, drinking from the same glass, sharing a joint, etc.

And I can’t just be afraid of giving my buddies hugs and kisses, and smoking pot together. So I gotta persuade Zach to go to the clinic, and get vaccinated for both, ASAP. He is even /more/ vulnerable to these scourges, than I am.

This is horrible…after suffering AIDS for so long, and learning safe sex, now we must start fearing even kisses, sharing a fork or glass or doobie? I’m thinkin’ biowarfare here.

And we poor gay folks are denied PrEP…disgusting. All this, on top of this tidal wave of homophobia coming from both Xians and Muslims. No sooner had we begun to make inroads, turning Xians to our side (at least a bit, but progressing nonetheless), than Islamic demons burst through the door and threaten to wipe out all this painful progress.

> Will they use your utterance of “fucking” as an excuse to block you??

I doubt it, it’s just a newspaper. If they like my letter, but not the word “fuck” they’ll just change it to something else. But I doubt that will be any problem in the first place.

Thank you so much for reading my letter…I am fighting for Zach’s life, and that of all my low income and destitute gay brothers.

– Zeke

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2016 23:44:09
Subject:
I changed…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

…”fucking” to “humping.” Good call.

– Zeke

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