TELL HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: PUT PATIENTS FIRST
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule that attempts to roll back civil rights protection under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare).
The ACA prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in healthcare, including most hospitals and doctor’s offices, and most health insurance companies.
The Obama Administration made sure that transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people and people who have had or are seeking abortions are protected from discrimination under this law. The rule also ensured increased access to resources for people whose primary language is not English and accommodations for people with disabilities.
Now the Trump Administration wants to get rid of these protections, increasing barriers to accessing care for the most marginalized, especially for people who live at the intersections of these identities.
Let HHS know that everyone deserves access to comprehensive healthcare. Share your story below and we will share it with HHS!
**Please note that all comments will be submitted to HHS and may be used in advocacy or be posted online. You may choose to comment anonymously or with a pseudonym.**
As a queer, nonbinary person of color, I am strongly opposed to the proposed changes to HHS’s nondiscrimination protections. Throughout my life, I’ve struggled to get and maintain health insurance because many of the available plans didn’t cover the health care services I needed, like reproductive health services and gender-affirming care. Those plans that did cover the services I needed were too expensive for me to afford.
When HHS issued its nondiscrimination rules, I was relieved to know I would finally be able to get health insurance that actually worked for me at a price I could afford. The changes HHS proposes here – including removing protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and allowing providers to claim a religious or conscience exemption to my health care needs – will once again make it impossible for me to afford the care I need.
In addition to limiting my access to an affordable health insurance plan, these proposed changes will make it harder for me to understand what my health insurance options are. As a person who speaks English as a second language, the earlier rule’s language access provisions made it much easier for me to find information about health insurance plans in language.
The proposal this Administration has put forward talks about the cost savings that will come from removing protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, from limiting access to reproductive health services, from allowing providers and insurers to opt out of providing care based on religious or conscience, and from limiting access to in-language information about health insurance plans. Those “cost savings” are false – they just shift the burden of those costs to people like me, who are less able to afford them. I oppose any changes to the “Section 1557” healthcare nondiscrimination rule.
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