Today marks the end of the comment period on the new rules proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that will jeopardize the health and well-being of vulnerable populations such as the LGBTQ community. The proposed regulation focuses on Section 1557 of the Health Care Rights Law, a part of the Affordable Care Act that bans gender discrimination. The proposal would erase all reference to protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, sex stereotyping, and gender identity.
The LGBT Life Center in Norfolk, and CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers across the country, strongly opposes the newly proposed regulation, and, working with a coalition of national, state and local organizations, has generated 132,000 comments to HHS in opposition to the new rules.
“When Trump became the nominee at the Republican National Convention, he stood on stage and promised to protect the LGBTQ community,” said Stacie Walls, CEO of LGBT Life Center in Norfolk, Virginia. She went on to say, “Since then, his administration has removed protections, banned military service for transgender members who were already serving without issue, and now they are moving to make discrimination a part of our nation’s approach to health care. That’s the opposite of what needs to be happening. The reality is we all thrive when access to health and wellness is at the heart of our approach to a strong community.”
Proposing a rule that would gut the Health Care Rights Law is the latest of many attempts the Trump-Pence Administration has made to undermine and threaten access to healthcare to those who need it most. A patient’s health should always come first. CenterLink and its 200+ LGBTQ community center members, of which LGBT Life Center is a part, will continue to advocate for patients who are medically underserved and help to ensure that the LGBTQ community has access to health care that is free from discrimination or bias.
Despite this national setback, LGBT Life Center’s clinic in Norfolk, Virginia will continue to provide unbiased, nondiscriminatory care to the LGBTQ and HIV communities in Hampton Roads.
For more information on the LGBT Life Center, please visit www.lgbtlifecenter.org or call 757-640-0929.