New HRC Video Features Shooting Survivor: “The Affordable Care Act Saved My Life”

by Wyatt Ronan

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is launching its third video in a weekly series on Trump’s failure to keep LGBTQ people safe. Today’s installment highlights the discrimination LGBTQ people in the United States face when seeking health care and the disproportionate health impacts LGBTQ people have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The video, featuring Arizona State Representative Jennifer Longdon — who was paralyzed in a random shooting — highlights how the Trump-Pence administration's attempts to undo the Affordable Care Act would leave millions under threat of being denied insurance or care because of preexisting conditions.

“Sixteen years ago, I was paralyzed in a random shooting,” said Arizona State Representative Jennifer Longdon. “My little boy was rushed to the hospital to say goodbye and comfort his dying mother and while I was in a coma, my health care was canceled. Before the Affordable Care Act, if you had a catastrophic illness or injury, there were teams that would comb through your policy looking for reasons that you could be disenrolled. The Affordable Care Act changed my life. I didn’t have to worry anymore that my medications — that my devices weren’t going to be covered, and honestly, once I got better coverage, I was able to become a better contributing member to my community. And so I got busy, and I got strong enough that I could advocate and along the way, I realized that I wasn’t just advocating for my little boy, that I was advocating for our children. Electing Joe Biden as president is what stands between us and repeal of the Affordable Care Act. We are all one accident, one injury away from catastrophe. We have to vote.”

The Trump-Pence Administration has taken unprecedented steps to undermine the Affordable Care Act

  • Undermined Section 1557 Rule: HHS published a major change to the administrative rule interpreting Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to remove explicit protections for LGBTQ people in healthcare programs and activities by excluding LGBTQ people from protections from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign won a preliminary injunction in court that halted the rule from taking affect.
  • Advocated for the elimination of the entire Affordable Care Act: The Justice Department issued a legal filing arguing that the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be overturned, a case that is being heard in the Supreme Court immediately after the general election. If the Trump Administration’s challenge is successful, it would jeopardize health care for over 130 million people with preexisting conditions like HIV and eliminate non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

Studies show LGBTQ people are more succeptible to COVID-19 and have a harder time accessing care than the general population

  • LGBTQ people’s higher rate of cancer, HIV, and tobacco consumption make them more vulnerable to the upper respiratory disease that attacks immune deficiencies
  • LGBTQ people experience discrimination in health care settings, making it harder for them to seek care when they need it

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