Though the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is changing the health care landscape for millions of people including lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender Americans discrimination against our LGBT community still exists. In a new brief from the Center for American Progress LGBT Americans & their families still report experiencing discrimination in the health system. One study found that more than half of the 5,000 LGBT respondents experienced harsh or abusive language, blame for their health status, physical abuse, or excessive precautions from health care workers based on having identified as LGBT. Some of those were even denied treatment for this reason.
Kellan Baker, CAP Senior Fellow & author of the brief stated, “Discrimination in the health care system can have serious negative consequences for LGBT Americans. This treatment often leaves LGBT Americans skeptical of the health care system & less likely to seek services—exacerbating significant health disparities that affect the LGBT population & resulting in higher risk of serious health problems. The ACA is the best opportunity available to eradicate these disparities by creating a robust nondiscrimination framework.” The White House Office of Management & Budget is currently considering rules that would clarify language in the legislation that bars discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, disability, health, or age. This rule-making process is a critical opportunity for the Department of Health & Human Services to state that sexual orientation & gender identity fall under these classifications & should be protected by the Affordable Care Act.
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