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Rights organizations slam federal LGBT healthcare rollbacks
by Matt Simonette
2019-05-24

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Numerous LGBT- and progressive-rights organizations came out against a Trump administration proposal to change the Affordable Care Act ( ACA ) such that anti-discrimination protections for LGBT persons would be rolled back.

The change to the Health Care Rights Law, Section 1557 of the ACA, would remove protections related to sexual orientation, gender identity and termination of pregnancy as inscribed within health care programs and insurance plans.

Chicago-based American Medical Association ( AMA ) also decried the May 24 announcement in the Federal Register.

"The AMA strongly believes that discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation," said AMA President-elect Patrice A. Harris, M.D. "Similarly, the AMA does not condone discrimination based on whether a woman has had an abortion.

"Respect for the diversity of patients is a fundamental value of the medical profession and reflected in long-standing AMA ethical policy opposing discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, or termination thereof."

HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy, said that, "The administration puts LGBTQ people at greater risk of being denied necessary and appropriate health care solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone deserves access to medically necessary care and should never be turned away because of who they are or who they love."

Advocates noted the especially dire repercussions potentially facing trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming Americans.

"Transgender and non-binary people experience overwhelming rates of discrimination in our country, including denial of service and negligent care related to gender transition from health care institutions and providers," said Carolyn Wald, staff attorney for ACLU of Illinois' LGBTQ & HIV Project. "This cruel proposal by the Trump Administration will lead to devastating health consequences and is nothing more than a bald-faced attempt to strip away other peoples' rights."

Mara Keisling, Executive Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, said that, "Predicated on little more than prejudice, this proposal will abandon 2 million Americans who already face significant barriers to accessing adequate and life-saving health care. This is not about free health care or special treatment. It's about the right of every American to be treated with dignity when they walk into an emergency room, meet a new doctor, or find the right insurance plan. If permitted, this rule will promote ignorance and hate that no American should have to face while seeking care, and we are ready to fight it with everything we've got."

Wald similarly promised that advocates are ready to put up a fight.

"Despite the goals of the White House, the courts have been clear for decades that prohibitions on sex discrimination include transgender people," she said. "We are taking this fight to the U.S. Supreme Court, where we will defend LGBTQ people's right to live as their authentic selves without fear of being fired for who they are. We refuse to allow the Trump Administration to drag us backwards and roll back these essential, life-saving protections."

The public has 60 days to offer comment on the new proposal.

Also see www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Trump-Pence-admin-targets-LGBTQ-non-discrimination-healthcare-protections/66134.html .


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