Tell Trump Administration to Reinstate Transgender Healthcare Protections

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During Donald Trump's presidential campaign, he vowed that he would "do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” In spite of this promise, the Trump Administration has put into effect a regulation that will strip transgender citizens of the United States from equal access to healthcare.

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities. The Obama Administration specified that this would include transgender individuals in 1557, and that gender dysphoria would be a medically recognizable condition worthy of equal access to healthcare. It prohibited discrimination towards transgender individuals when seeking healthcare, and guaranteed insurance coverage for medically-necessary procedures for conditions such as ovarian cancer regardless of the individuals' gender identity in juxtaposition to their assigned sex as birth.

On June 12th, 2020, the Trump Administration passed a regulation during a pandemic that has killed over 100,000 American citizens, on the four-year anniversary of an LGBT-targeted hate crime at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL. This new regulation would permit healthcare workers to deny transgender individuals access to even the most basic of needs, such as blood tests, checkups, medications, and insurance coverage. Effective July 12th, 2020, 60 days from the passed regulation, providers and insurance companies may deny treatment and coverage to transgender citizens based purely on their gender identity.

This denial, in particular during the COVID-19 pandemic, will undoubtedly result in a drastic increase in the loss of life of an already heavily marginalized and at-risk group of people. Those who are on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may have their medications no longer covered with little warning, resulting in fluctuating hormonal levels that can trigger underlying conditions such as autoimmune disorders. Chronically ill transgender individuals may be denied access to specialists who can help them get by in their day-to-day lives. Moreover, transgender people may have vital access to COVID-19 tests revoked, which would cause another increase in cases of the deadly illness.

We need to stand together to protect transgender lives. We need to tell Donald Trump that we, the American people, are not willing to let vulnerable members of our society be denied healthcare purely due to their gender. Please tell the Trump Administration to reconsider their revocation of ACA Section 1557's gender identity protections, and stand alongside those who cannot stand alone.