Yesterday, HRC and the National Center for Lesbian Rights delivered a letter to the Senate on behalf of 61 organizations opposing the American Health Care Act. This dangerous bill would undermine core provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the 2010 landmark healthcare reform law that has extended healthcare coverage to an additional 22 million Americans, including many who are LGBTQ.
The letter details the negative impacts of the American Health Care Act and ACA repeal on many vulnerable and marginalized communities that already face systemic discrimination and healthcare disparities– including those who are LGBTQ. Prior to implementation of the ACA, LGBTQ people had some of the lowest insured rates of any population in the country. The individual market reforms, including the ban on preexisting condition exclusions, have made it possible for many in our community to obtain health insurance for the first time in their lives. The American Health Care Act’s repeal of these core ACA provisions will severely undermine this critical progress.
The American Health Care Act would disproportionately impact vulnerable populations — including those living with HIV/AIDS. The American Health Care Act fundamentally changes Medicaid, imposing a per capita cap funding structure that is estimated to cut $880 billion in federal funding from state Medicaid programs. Under Medicaid expansion tens of thousands of people living with HIV have qualified for care for the first time before becoming disabled by the virus.The American Health Care Act’s draconian caps will cut access to Medicaid coverage for people living with HIV, restricting access to life-saving treatments.
Yesterday’s letter also calls on the Senate to reject the American Health Care Act’s attempt to bar Planned Parenthood and its affiliated clinics from participating in essential public health programs. This provision jeopardizes the ability of these providers to deliver preventive healthcare services, such as cancer screenings, STD and HIV testing, as well as services like gender transition-related care that may not be offered elsewhere in many communities. Often, health clinics such as Planned Parenthood offer the only culturally competent care available to LGBTQ people, especially in rural and isolated areas. Rather than improving care options, the American Health Care Act would disproportionately impact people—including people of color, immigrants, young people, and members of the LGBTQ community—who already face structural barriers to accessing care.
We call on Senators to reject this dangerous attempt to undermine healthcare access and to preserve the very real gains the LGBTQ community has made under the ACA.