Here’s What the ACA Repeal Could Mean for the LGBTQ Community
The Trump administration is trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with their own healthcare plan. The new plan, which many have dubbed “Trumpcare,” could have disastrous effects on vulnerable Americans, but it will hit the LGBTQ community especially hard. Here’s how.
Loss of anti-discrimination regulations
The ACA forbids discrimination based on “race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability” from healthcare programs that receive federal funding. The Obama administration considered gender identity to fall under the blanket of this “sex,” making transphobia a matter of sex-based discrimination.
If Trumpcare throws out anti-discrimination regulations, public hospitals would be free to discriminate against trans patients.
Lifetime limits for HIV care
The ACA forbids lifetime limits that set lifetime limits on the amount of healthcare an insured person can receive. If the insured person’s healthcare costs reach the lifetime limit, the insured has to start paying for healthcare out of pocket.
Re-instituting lifetime limits can hurt people with chronic, costly medical conditions, like cancer.
Treating HIV is expensive. The medication alone can cost thousands of dollars every month. If a person contracts HIV when young and hits their lifetime limit after a few decades, they’ll be left in the cold.
Cutting Planned Parenthood funding
Trumpcare seeks to deprive Planned Parenthood of federal funding by forbidding patients from using Medicaid to pay for care at the organization’s clinics.
This would leave LGBTQ Medicaid patients unable to access Planned Parenthood’s services like sex education counseling, STI testing or gender transition care.
And if defunding Planned Parenthood causes clinics to close, then even patients with private health insurance will be unable to access these services.
There are other healthcare clinics, but in some regions, options are slim. And even if there is an alternative clinic, it’s difficult for LGBTQ patients to find an environment as accepting of queer issues as Planned Parenthood.
Mental healthcare cuts
Trumpcare would cut services for mental illness and substance abuse, which the LGBTQ community suffers from at a higher rate.
Loss of coverage
LGBTQ people are more likely to be poor, so they’re more likely to need a public healthcare option.
The ACA greatly reduced the number of uninsured LGBTQ people. According to the Urban Institute, the uninsurance rate nearly halved for lesbian, gay and bisexual adults between 2013 and 2015. These same people could lose their health insurance if the ACA is repealed.
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