Twenty years ago, Larry Day learned two dangerous viruses were circulating in his body, HIV and hepatitis C. Both infections came from needles shared during his years as an injecting drug user.
Only one caused him big problems: hepatitis C. That virus destroyed his kidneys, an uncommon complication. Over time, he knew, hepatitis C could lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. So when drugs came on the market promising to cure him, Day — by then free of illicit drugs — was eager to give them a try.
But his Medicaid insurance plan said no. He could get the drugs only if his liver was damaged, and his liver was still in good shape