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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 9, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 32
Campaign opposes Trump rule changes to ACA
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Campaign opposes Trump rule changes to ACA

Calls for comments on government website

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

National health care and human rights organizations have united in a campaign to turn back changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) that would weaken nondiscrimination language in the law and lead to denial of care for LGBTQ and other patients.

The issue revolves around Section 1557 of the ACA, which prohibits discrimination in health programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability status. According to the Obama-era Department of Justice (DOJ), the word 'sex' also covers LGBTQ persons seeking health care.

Donald Trump's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed changes to the rules that will weaken or eliminate protections for LGBTQ individuals, people with limited English proficiency, and individuals seeking reproductive health services.

The proposed changes will seriously undermine existing protections against discrimination in health care. The changes in rule will significantly harm:

o Trans and gender-nonconforming people, who already experience significant obstacles to accessing all health care,

o LGBTQ people who do not conform to traditional sex stereotypes,

o people who need abortions or have had abortions in the past, and

o people with limited English proficiency, who need to access language services such as interpreters and translations.

The groups organizing opposition to the proposed changes include Families USA, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the National Health Law Program, the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, the National Women's Law Center, Protect Trans Health, and Action Link.

People are asked to log into the federal government's comment page and register their opposition to the proposed changes: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=HHS-OCR-2019-0007-0001

Washington state's attorney general, Bob Ferguson, has intervened in the lawsuit brought by the state of Texas hoping to overturn the entire ACA, known as Texas v. USA.

Ferguson explained that because the Trump administration 'callously refused to defend the law,' Washington joined many other states and the House of Representatives, intervening to do so. Under the ACA, our state's uninsured rate has dropped by 60% and federal premium subsidies average $295 per month.

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