The American Health Care Act one step closer to stripping insurance from numerous LGBTQ Americans

NEW YORK – Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD – the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, released the following statement after the United States House of Representatives voted through the American Health Care Act, a bill that could prevent Americans from receiving quality healthcare coverage, including those with pre-existing conditions or those who rely on Medicaid or organizations like Planned Parenthood for affordable coverage.

“The U.S. House rammed through a destructive and dangerous bill that could strip away health insurance from millions of Americans, including many in the LGBTQ community. Healthcare is a human right, and no one should be denied access to care because of a preexisting condition or because a program like Planned Parenthood does not fit the ideology of one political party. Now more than ever, it’s time to buckle down and keep fighting to protect the healthcare that the LGBTQ community deserves.”
 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: WHAT THE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE ACT WOULD MEAN FOR LGBTQ AMERICANS

People Pre Existing Conditions Could Lose Coverage

Politifact: Does the GOP's new health care bill still cover pre-existing conditions, as Trump claims? "Overall, the latest proposal seems to weaken existing protections for people with pre-existing conditions, not strengthen them. We rate the statement Mostly False."

Advocate: Trumpcare Could Bring HIV Roaring Back: “According to the Department of Health and Human Services, before the Affordable Care Act was passed, 24 percent of people with HIV had no health insurance coverage at all. There are 1.2 million people in the U.S. already living with HIV. Health insurance is vital to keeping viral suppression rates up and infection rates down. The ACA provided critical subsidies for private insurance and expanded Medicaid in 31 states and the District of Columbia, which increased access to medical treatment. It also guaranteed coverage for people with preexisting conditions such as HIV and covered HIV testing.”
 

Cutting Medicaid Harms People with HIV and AIDS

Advocate: Trumpcare Could Bring HIV Roaring Back: By gutting Medicaid expansion and other benefits, the proposal could complicate PrEP access and promotion in the states that adopted Medicaid expansion. If passed, the new bill will begin to eliminate money for Medical expansion in 2020, potentially blocking new applicants and access to critical medication…

WGBH News: Trumpcare Would Harm LGBT People And Those Living With HIV: “Changes to Medicaid proposed by the AHCA would put many people with HIV at risk of losing access to life-saving medicines and treatment” […] Trumpcare would also reverse ACA-related changes to Medicaid eligibility that have benefitted LGBT people. Previously, only low-income adults with dependent children or low-income adults with a disability were eligible for Medicaid. Now people are eligible for Medicaid on the basis of income alone. Since many LGBT people do not have children, this change has made it easier for them to enroll in Medicaid.”
 

Defunding Planned Parenthood Harms Trans Americans

Daily Beast: The Attack on Planned Parenthood Hurts Transgender People, Too: “But a lesser-known consequence of the attack on Planned Parenthood is its potential impact on transgender people like Burns who rely on the organization for transition-related medical care. Elizabeth Clark, Planned Parenthood’s director of health media, told The Daily Beast that health centers in 16 states—including California, Florida, New York, and Illinois—currently offer hormone therapy to transgender patients. From 2013 to 2015, she added, there was an 80 percent increase in affiliates that reported offering that treatment.”

The Guardian: How defunding Planned Parenthood could wipe out transgender healthcare; “Unbeknown to many, Planned Parenthood is one of the largest sources in the US of transgender healthcare. The embattled provider offers hormone replacement therapy, which helps a person’s body appear more masculine or feminine, at dozens of its locations, and a growing share of its staff are trained to perform routine sexual health exams for trans patients.

Planned Parenthood in recent years has sought to address that problem. And it has made its clinics a magnet for thousands with few other options. Starting with Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes, in upstate New York, a growing number of its health centers have become places where trans people can begin to transition medically, as well as get basic reproductive services. Its centers use a newer model for gender transitioning that gives the patient input on whether to start their transition, rather than turning the decision over entirely to a psychiatrist. Some clinics have staff with detailed knowledge of how to update driver’s licenses, passports and social security cards to reflect someone’s name and gender.”

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