From Susan R. Bailey, M.D., President, American Medical Association:
"The Biden administration did the right thing by terminating a short-lived effort to allow discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation when seeking health care. As we said in our letter to the previous administration, the interpretation was contrary to the intent and the plain language of the law. It's unfortunate that such an obvious step had to be taken; the AMA welcomes this common-sense understanding of the law.
"This move is a victory for health equity and ends a dismal chapter in which a federal agency sought to remove civil rights protections."
"We at SAGE applaud the Biden administration's public declaration from the Department for Health and Human Services prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity under section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act," said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. "These protections are critical to the health and well-being of millions of LGBT elders across the country." Continued Adams, "while this is an important step forward, we must urge the Senate to take action and make the Equality Act the law of the land. LGBT elders have already waited too long for the broader non-discrimination protections that the Equality Act affords."
SAGE is the world's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States.
From The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law:
HHS affirms nondiscrimination protections in health care for more than 13 million LGBT people
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today reinstated federal protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in health care. The regulation will provide protection from discrimination for an estimated 13 million LGBT people ages 13 and older, including more than 1.5 million transgender people.
LGBT people experience health disparities compared to non-LGBT people and often lack access to health care. Recent research from the Williams Institute found that many LGB and transgender people have underlying health conditions that could increase their risk for COVID-19-related illness, including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and HIV.
"Access to health care is critically important, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Jody L. Herman, Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. "Research shows that LGBT people who fear discrimination in health care settings are less likely to seek needed care and more likely to receive poor care."
Discrimination against LGBT people in health care settings is well documented and takes many forms, including outright denials and substandard care.
According to analyses of data from the Generations Study and the U.S. Transgender Population Health Survey (TransPop),
38% of LGBTQ people worry about being negatively judged when seeking health care because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Among transgender people, 62% expressed fear of being judged in a health care setting.
Transgender people who had substantial concerns about receiving inclusive and accepting health care were less likely to have a personal doctor or health care provider.
An estimated 483,000 transgender adults were concerned that if they express their gender identity, they could be denied good medical care.
Approximately 77,000 transgender adults felt unsatisfied with the care that they have received in the past.
Approximately one in five (21%) LGBTQ people were in poor or fair health. About one-quarter of LBQ women (24%) and transgender people (26%) experienced poorer health.
According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 23% of respondents did not seek needed medical care due to fear of being disrespected or mistreated as a transgender person.
The new rule affirms that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are forms of sex discrimination as prohibited under federal laws, including the Affordable Care Act. This interpretation is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Bostock v. Clayton County last year.
The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research with real-world relevance.
See related coverage at windycitytimes.com/lgbt/HHS-Prohibition-on-sex-discrimination-includes-sexual-orientation-gender-identity/70441.html .