Lambda Legal: Repeal of Affordable Care Act will jeopardize those Living With HIV, transgender Americans
Lambda Legal, one of the nation’s oldest LGBTQ advocacy and law groups, is concerned the breakdown of the Affordable Care Act will jeopardize the health of many people in the LGBTQ community as well as Americans living with HIV/AIDS.
Today, at his first press conference since winning the election in November, President Elect Trump promised the repeal of the ACA as soon as his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services is confirmed.
“We’re going to be submitting, as soon as he is approved, we’ll almost simultaneously — shortly thereafter — have a plan. It will be repeal and replace. It will be simultaneously,” he said.
The attack on the Affordable Care Act by the Senate, especially without a viable replacement plan, will likely have devastating effects on the nation’s most marginalized groups, said the group in a release sent out today. Most notable for its expanded eligibility and affordability, the ACA covered pre-existing conditions like HIV/AIDS and transgender-related health care.
Before the enactment of ACA, 24% of those with HIV had no health care coverage at all. Under expanded Medicaid, 40% of HIV-positive individuals were covered. And under Medicare, 25% are covered. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/republican-attempt-to-repeal-obamacare-puts-people-with-hiv-at-risk_us_586fd212e4b099cdb0fce99f)
“The ACA has had a transformative impact on the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV,” said Scott Shoettes, HIV project director at Lambda Legal. “It is one of the most important pieces of legislation in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the history of the epidemic.”
Coverage for individuals with HIV is a matter of survival, according to Lambda, and by repealing it, the lack of HIV/AIDS coverage and treatment can lead to the spread of the illness and make matters even worse.
“When Congress enacted the ACA in 2010, only 17% of people living with HIV had private health insurance—a disheartening statistic given the dramatically improved health outcomes and reduced likelihood of transmission when people have consistent care,” said Shoettes. “Congress must safeguard the health of people living with HIV—this is a life and death matter.”
In addition to these significant risks, transgender Americans are also likely to be impacted by the repeal. The GOP’s anti-LGBTQ stance was part of their 2016 election platform and those sentiments could be connected to the attack on the ACA.
The ACA banned the denial of health care based on gender identity and enabled many transgender individuals to get the coverage and care they need.
“The ACA is the best pathway we have for transgender people to access healthcare without discrimination,” said M. Dru Lavasseur, the Transgender Rights Project Director at Lambda Legal. “If healthcare providers, doctors and insurers provide services for non-transgender people, they must also provide that care for transgender people.”
But even the ACA’s enactment hasn’t stopped discrimination against transgender individuals.
“Just last week we filed a case under the ACA on behalf of a transgender man who was denied a medically necessary hysterectomy by a hospital that routinely performs that surgery. Discrimination has no place in healthcare, and we will keep fighting for the health and well-being of all transgender people living in this country,” Lavasseur said.
Lambda Legal is urging citizens to take action and contact their local Senators and Representatives and tell them that should ACA be repealed, “it must not only be replaced, but include policy that protects LGBTQ rights and those living with HIV.”
“The U.S. cannot go back to a time where people with pre-existing conditions can be denied coverage and health insurers can discriminate based on a person’s health or gender,” the organization said. “Or when most people with HIV could not afford the coverage offered, and did not qualify for Medicaid until they were very poor and became sick and disabled.”
“We urgently need more HIV prevention tools that fit easily into people’s lives.”December 28, 2016
- Man fired for having HIV files lawsuit agianst Texas nursing home, December 1, 2016
- Health advocates concerned about HIV patients under Trump regime, November 29, 2016
- My blood type is MSM – RVA artist aims to highlight blood donation stigma on gay men, September 20, 2016
- Prev Study: Del. Marshall’s proposed “bathroom bill” would impact 34K transgender adults and thousands of transgender youth
- Next RTP & TheatreLAB partner with Virginia Anti-Violence Project to revive ‘NERVE: Stories of Queer Resilience’
- Back to top
- Missing Charlottesville transgender woman’s case changed to homicide
- Federal judge rules in favor of discriminated gay man but not how you might think
- Diversity Richmond to host first Drag Bingo and afterparty event this Friday
- HEAL LLC creates a ‘soft spot to land’ for LGBTQ women of color with ‘The Healing Journey’
- Pioneering Virginia-born LGBTQ activist and biologist Dr. Walter Sheppe has past away