Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy


Health care reform, AIDS patients, Discrimination in insurance


The continued presence and growing rates of individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the United States has come to reflect an epidemic of significant proportion. Unfortunately, federal legislation has been eerily silent regarding the establishment of protections against health status-based discrimination for asymptomatic HIV and AIDS sufferers. Congress has done little to change this reality, despite the institution of major healthcare system and insurance reform by the Obama Administration in 2010. This Note argues that "Obamacare" and the two laws that define it—the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010—fail to address asymptomatic HIV and AIDS infection as a significant source of health status-based insurance discrimination. As a result, these individuals continue to be ignored, subject to the ambiguities of "disability"- based legislation, and relegated to the status of a legally invisible class.

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