Health Care Reform and LGBTQ People
Senate leadership has delayed the vote on health care repeal.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made health care coverage a reality for many LGBTQ individuals and their families for the first time. Before the ACA’s landmark changes, LGBTQ people experiencing discrimination or coverage denials too often had nowhere to turn. Many people living with HIV/AIDS struggled to afford the lifesaving medications and care they needed, and transgender people faced outright denials of care.
The ACA provides unprecedented federal protections for LGBTQ people by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, which has been interpreted as including both sexual orientation and gender identity. It also broadens access to insurance by expanding Medicaid coverage for lower income individuals and removing spending caps on insurance coverage. It also provides critical protections against discrimination on the basis of health status, including HIV status.
Repeal of the ACA would threaten so much of the progress our community has made in the past 8 years to end health disparities and connect LGBTQ people and our families to essential care.
The American Health Care Act was introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) on March 20, 2017 and passed the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017. The Senate released the Better Care Reconciliation Act as a draft on June 22 that has proven to be equally dangerous. As it’s currently written, these repeal bills would undermine core provisions of the ACA, including:
- Cut billions from state Medicaid funding. The House bill would cut $834 billion in Medicaid funding and the Senate bill cuts go even deeper. These cuts would leave thousands of low-income LGBTQ individuals and their families without access to affordable health care coverage.
- Strip required coverage for essential health benefits. Without these protections millions of people would lose coverage for essential health benefits including preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management. These cuts could be especially devastating for people living with HIV/AIDS.
- Re-instate lifetime limits on coverage. Individuals with employer-provided health plans could risk bankruptcy in the face of a catastrophic health event where they reach the maximum lifetime limit on their health care coverage.
- Prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds. Every day LGBTQ people depend on community health clinics like Planned Parenthood for essential health care including STD and HIV testing, cancer screenings, and transition related care. Planned Parenthood health centers often are the only local places where LGBTQ people can find welcoming and inclusive care tailored to meet their needs
We need to move quickly! Text "SAVE ACA" to 30644 to be connected to your senator's office and tell them to reject the repeal of the ACA.
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