What the Upcoming Election Could Mean for LGBTQ+ Healthcare Protection
With the upcoming election and the concerning times of COVID-19, healthcare is a universal topic everyone should be concerned about. However, LGBTQ+ healthcare concerns are potentially more pressing, because not everyone has the luxury of affording or having equal access to healthcare. A rule regarding the definitions based in section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) finalized by the Trump administration in June was temporarily blocked by Judge Frederic of the Block of the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York. What will future implications entail for LGBTQ+ people given the upcoming U.S. election while also still enduring the pandemic as a result of COVID-19?
What is Section 1557 of the ACA?
“Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of the ACA. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs or activities.” This definition is provided by the Human Health Services.
What does the rule change for LGBTQ+ healthcare?
The previous Obama Administration proposed a change to the section 1557 in 2016 that would expand and redefine sex discrimination to include termination of pregnancy and gender identity, which it defined as “one’s internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female.” This rule was never put into place and was vacated until October 2019. Under the final rule, however, the definition of sex discrimination would remain as understanding “sex” to be “male or female and as determined by biology.”
Why should we be concerned about this rule change?
If changes are made to this rule the community risk discrimination regarding healthcare, causing significant LGBTQ+ healthcare concerns. Doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies would legally be able to deny care or coverage.
This is terrifying for those who, still during uncertain times with COVID-19, may risk having simple protections denied due to their identity. Should the rule remain as defined by the Human Health Services? Or, should the rule remain on the basis of biology and reduced to male/female?
Questions about LGBTQ+ healthcare to discuss on Ohlelo:
- What will the potential change in administration have in store for healthcare in the LGBTQ+ community?
- Is there an optimistic silver lining between the two parties that will come to an agreement on this issue?
- What is your opinion on what should or can be done regarding LGBTQ+ healthcare?
- Should people outside the LGBTQ+ community share these LGTBQ+ healthcare concerns?
We also recommend you visit our Gender and Sexuality home page for everything related to this topic!