Thousands speak up to end healthcare discrimination against trans people | National Center for Transgender Equality

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Jueves, noviembre 12, 2015

Thousands speak up to end healthcare discrimination against trans people

Thousands of people have mobilized to urge the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to finalize regulations that can change the landscape for trans people’s access to health care and insurance coverage. We asked you to speak up for trans healthcare and an overwhelming number of you did.

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) back in 2010, it said that healthcare discrimination against trans people is illegal. But most trans people have still faced illegal discrimination from healthcare providers and insurance companies, and we have needed HHS to flesh that out and clarify what that discrimination looks like in practice.

And now, HHS has been in the process of putting together regulations to explain what kinds of policies and practices are illegal under Obamacare. What HHS says is critical to making sure that Obamacare’s nondiscrimination protections get enforced in the strongest and broadest way possible.

So, in 2013, HHS asked the public what kinds of practices it thought should be prohibited, and it got a whopping 400 comments—and most of them were comments that NCTE had collected from transgender people and their allies sharing their stories and urging HHS to protect their rights.

When it proposed its regulations in September, HHS talked about how important those comments were in helping it reach a decision, and it showed: the proposed regulations said that insurance companies covered by Obamacare can’t exclude coverage for transition-related care and that health providers who get federal funds need to treat trans people according to their gender identity.

The proposed regulations are groundbreaking, but they can be made even stronger. So when HHS asked the public for feedback on the new regulation, it was critical for LGBTQ communities to be heard. Once again, we asked for your help and your response blew us away. By the time the comment period closed on Monday night, NCTE had collected 3,000 comentarios to submit to HHS—mas de diez veces the number we gathered last time. And together with other organizations and individuals around the country, we’ve sent HHS at least 20,000 comments in favor of LGBTQ equality. This unprecedented groundswell of support is inspiring—and might just help us get one of the most progressive federal nondiscrimination protections for trans people yet.

The National Center for Transgender Equality also submitted comprehensive comments of our own, where we applauded the advances in the HHS regulation, and recommended that the rule be strengthened by:

  • Ensuring that trans people get coverage for all medically necessary treatments
  • Prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation
  • Making it clear that non-binary trans people are protected to the same extent as trans men and women
  • Preventing health care providers and insurance companies who get federal money from using religion as a shield to discriminate
  • Improving health care access for everyone, including immigrants, women and people with disabilities

It might be a few months until we see the final regulation, but if you’re facing discrimination in healthcare, you can act now. While we need the regulation to clarify what, exactly, anti-trans healthcare discrimination looks like, Obamacare made anti-trans discrimination illegal back in 2010. If your healthcare provider or insurance company is discriminating against you based on your gender identity, file a complaint with HHS or reach out to NCTE.

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