Standing Against the Health Reform Repeal
January 20, 2011 by Anthony Moll
The following is from HRC's Senior Public Policy Advocate, Andrea Levario:
Yesterday, the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives followed through on its promise to bring up a bill to repeal the landmark health reform law passed last year. The vote on H.R. 2 passed 245-189. The Democratic leadership in the Senate has said it will not take action on H.R. 2. Deaf to the latest polling results that only 18% of Americans support total repeal, the Republicans spent most of the day reiterating misinformation and outright lies about what the law does and does not do and who it benefits.
What IS true is that 129 million Americans will be aided by lifting the ban on preexisting conditions, according to new research by the Department of Health and Human Services. In a letter to Members of Congress, HRC noted the while the law did not contain provisions specific to LGBT people, the language barring the use of preexisting conditions was one of the top benefits for our community. Other key benefits include: - Expanded Medicaid eligibility, health insurance exchanges and other programs to provide health coverage for more low-income Americans. This will help the most vulnerable people in every community, including ours; - Funds for comprehensive sex education programs and other prevention-focused efforts; - Improvements to collection of data on health disparities. Though the law does not explicitly require data collection on LGBT people, it allows HHS to collect other demographic data important to its mission of addressing health disparities. While H.R. 2 may be left to languish, this is just the beginning for the new House leadership.
It was the opening salvo, among many yet to come, to turn back the strides made to improve the lives of all Americans. HRC will be vigilant along with others in the progressive movement to ensure these attempts do not succeed.
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