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GLMA Condemns Proposed Changes to Healthcare Rights Law

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services released a regulatory proposal that attempts to weaken the Healthcare Rights Law of the Affordable Care Act that establishes nondiscrimination protections for transgender individuals in healthcare coverage and access. This regulatory proposal would essentially eliminate mention of transgender people and sex stereotyping in the nondiscrimination regulations adopted under the ACA.

The proposed regulation falsely suggests that healthcare providers and insurers may legally discriminate against transgender people, allowing them to deny transgender people medically necessary and life-saving care.

GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS, released the following statement in response:

“GLMA stands in strong opposition to this extremely harmful regulatory proposal that would encourage flagrant discrimination in healthcare against transgender and all LGB people. We know that transition-related care is medically necessary care, and that strong nondiscrimination protections are necessary in ensuring that the transgender community, and all LGB people, have equitable healthcare coverage and access.

“Research has proven that transgender people already face significant obstacles to accessing healthcare and additional discrimination if and when they manage to reach healthcare settings. This discrimination negatively impacts their health and well-being by causing delays, denials, substandard care, and, too often, death. With this proposal to weaken nondiscrimination protections of the Healthcare Rights Law, the Administration puts the transgender community at even greater risk of encountering discrimination in care, reducing access to medically necessary and life-saving care.

“Healthcare providers are in fact united by the evidence in their support for nondiscrimination protections for transgender and LGB people. GLMA was proud to work with the American Psychiatric Association on a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar joined by 31 leading health professional associations expressing overwhelming support for the nondiscrimination protections of the Healthcare Rights Law and strong opposition to any attempts to weaken the law.

GLMA will continue to do everything in its power to ensure that the scientific expertise of medical and health experts is the driving force behind healthcare policy that ensures equity and equal treatment for the transgender community.”

The letter organized by GLMA and the American Psychiatric Association was signed by 31 leading healthcare professional associations and sent to HHS Secretary Alex Azar on 5/24/19. Click here to see the full letter and list of signatories.

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