Wednesday, August 14, 2019

HRC and Coalition Partners Submit Over 130,000 Public Comments on Trump’s Proposed Attack on Transgender Health Care


Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced that it--along with a dozen coalition partners--submitted over 130,000 public comments against the Trump-Pence administration’s proposed regulation to strip out protections for transgender patients and other marginalized communities in the Affordable Car Act, commonly known as Section 1557.

“Everyone deserves access to care, and no one should be turned away because of who they are or whom they love,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The Trump-Pence administration’s proposal undermines crucial non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people provided by the Affordable Care Act and puts LGBTQ people at greater risk of being denied health care solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. We oppose this proposal in the strongest terms.”

Fear of discrimination causes many LGBTQ people to avoid seeking healthcare, and when they do enter care, studies indicate that LGBTQ people are not consistently treated with the respect that all patients deserve. Studies show that 56% of LGB people and 70% of transgender and gender non-conforming people reported experiencing discrimination by healthcare providers -- including refusal of care, harsh language and physical roughness because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. According to a report, 23% of transgender respondents did not see a doctor when they needed to because of fear of being mistreated as a transgender person and a startling 55% of transgender respondents who sought coverage for transition-related surgery were denied. Delay and avoidance of care due to fear of discrimination compounds the significant health disparities experienced by LGBTQ people.

HRC joined a broad coalition of organizations, including the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Transgender Law Center, and the Center for American Progress in a campaign to collect comments from members of the public rejecting the proposed regulation. Through a robust digital and organizing strategy, HRC significantly contributed to the final coalition total with 23,850 comments.

Last month, HRC released a video urging the public to submit comments and partnered with former Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta and Dr. Jennifer Gunter on national op-eds. HRC also organized a briefing by the NYU Policy Institute for key congressional staff regarding the administrative procedural flaws around the 1557 regulations.