In June of this year the Trump Administration announced a new rule that would remove non-discrimination protections from section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act – removing protections that ensured access to healthcare for millions of LGBTQ Americans. These discrimination protections are critical to ensuring our Transgender and Gender Diverse communities get access to the lifesaving healthcare they need and deserve.
Today the Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against this attempt to allow discrimination in healthcare against LGBTQ Washingtonians. Ingersoll is proud to support this lawsuit and provide a declaration detailing the many challenges our community members face accessing routine and lifesaving gender affirming healthcare. Our Executive Director, Karter Booher shares, “We know that Washington State has strong anti-discrimination protections protecting LGBTQ Washingtonians. But efforts to reverse critical anti-discrimination laws at the federal level undermine those protections and lead to Transgender and Gender Diverse Washingtonians being denied care.”
In our 2019 report, A Vision for Greater Access to Gender Affirming Healthcare, we outline the challenges our communities face in accessing healthcare and a path forward to ensuring that all Transgender and Gender Diverse people can access the healthcare they need to survive and thrive regardless of their race, income, zip code, disability status or citizenship. We know that these challenges are only further impacted by our current COVID-19 crisis. “Even before this current pandemic, access to healthcare for Trans and Gender Diverse people was fraught with barriers, especially for Black and Brown members of our community. This current COVID-19 crisis has served to amplify existing health disparities – increasing vulnerability around housing, economic, and health stability. Access that was very limited to some of the most vulnerable is even more difficult to achieve now.” – Lee Williams, Program Director
While we are excited for our state to be taking this action to protect access to healthcare for Transgender and Gender Diverse Washingtonians we remain committed to ensuring low-income Transgender and Gender Diverse people have equitable access to that care. “It is more important than ever that our state takes a stand in making sure that Trans and Gender Diverse folks in Washington, especially those who rely on Apple Health, have access to the gender affirming healthcare that they need. We’ve been hard at work with the Coalition of Inclusive Healthcare to challenge the Washington State Health Care Authority to eliminate barriers, such as the non covered services list. Expanding healthcare access for low income Washingtonians by way of making the process in accessing trans specific surgeries and treatments less complicated and reliant on gatekeeping restrictions will indeed set a precedence for how insurance providers in all of Washington and the rest of the US should be caring for the health of and honoring the self-determination of it’s Trans and Gender Diverse communities.” – Mattie Mooney, Healthcare Access Manager
You can join us in our fight by making a donation to Ingersoll Gender Center. Your contribution connects Transgender and Gender Diverse people with life-saving resources and services. In addition to our advocacy efforts, Ingersoll provides Trans and Gender Diverse individuals with resources and referrals for gender affirming healthcare, assists them in navigating their insurance and care options, and offers financial aid for emergency HRT assistance. Learn more about our work and make a gift today at http://bit.ly/donateigc
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