Angela Hale, Equality Texas, 512-289-2995, firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposed Trump Administration Rollbacks of ACA Nondiscrimination Regulations Jeopardize Transgender Texans’ Access to Health Care
Austin, Texas – May 24, 2019 – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ Texans today blasted the Trump Administration for once again targeting transgender Americans, this time with proposed policies that will jeopardize access to health care.
Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination in health care “on the basis of sex” to include termination of pregnancy or gender identity. This portion of the law has been in effect since 2016 and is based on federal law and court cases that go back decades.
The Trump administration’s new proposed regulation would erase all recognition by the Department of Health and Human Services of protections for transgender people under the Health Care Rights Law. This will open the door to allow doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to deny care to and turn away transgender and nonbinary patients simply on the basis of who they are.
“I have seen people denied care in emergency rooms. Simply because of who they are, the doctor would not treat them,” said Lou Weaver, Transgender Programs Coordinator for Equality Texas. “This rule will make it legal to deny lifesaving treatment to trans and nonbinary people — people who already face tremendous barriers to getting basic health care.”
“When I came out as a transgender man, in the 4th largest city in the United States and within a couple of miles of the world’s largest medical center, I could find only three doctors who would treat people like me. Three. Imagine how much harder it is for those in the rural areas of our state,” continued Weaver.
In a few days, HHS will open this proposal up for a Public Comment Period of 60 days. Equality Texas plans to call on LGBTQ Texans and allies to submit comments in protest of the proposed rule change.
Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.