National LGBT rights leader addresses D.C. protest demanding health insurance reform

March 09, 2010

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

WASHINGTON, March 9 — National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund Executive Director Rea Carey is among the progressive leaders speaking at today’s large protest outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C., where America’s Health Insurance Plans — the health insurance lobbying group — is holding its annual policy conference.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund is the only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organization officially participating in today’s protest organized by Health Care for America Now, the nation’s largest health care campaign designed to stress the urgent need for health insurance reform. More than 50 major labor, organizational and religious leaders teamed up with survivors of health insurance industry abuse leading the crowd in protest.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

“Health care reform is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issue. The lack of adequate, affordable health care is hurting tens of millions of people and their families all across this country, including our families. It is clear to nearly everyone that reform is critically needed, yet the powerful health insurance lobby remains a major obstacle. Blocking reform comes down to greed, and this must end. This is why we are part of Health Care for America Now and why we stand here today. There is no sound reason why anyone who wants insurance is refused adequate and affordable coverage. Nobody should go bankrupt because of health care.

“We’re also here because the LGBT community refuses to let our lives and families be left behind. Health care reform will happen, and it must address some of the stark realities that LGBT people face every day. How our families are legally defined greatly impacts the costs of and access to coverage. Every April 15, LGBT families write an extra check to the IRS to pay for domestic partner benefits — the very same benefits opposite-sex married couples get tax free. Health care reform must abolish the insurance industry’s ‘preexisting conditions’ barrier, which far too many in our community are subjected to because in 2010 the federal government still does not protect us from employment discrimination. America, we can and will do better.”

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are not tax deductible.