By Project Trans Health
More than 20,000 people have spoken up in defense of a regulation protecting transgender people’s access to health care just three weeks after the Trump administration announced their rollback and 50 days before a newly announced deadline.
On May 24, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new plan to roll back the Health Care Rights Law, an Obama-era regulation explicitly banning discrimination against transgender people by providers, hospitals, and insurers.
In response, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Transgender Law Center launched Protect Trans Health, a campaign to drive public comments in protest of the administration’s plan. To learn more about the administration’s plan to deny transgender people equal treatment, visit ProtectTransHealth.org.
With the help of advocates and celebrities including Jonathan Van Ness, Laverne Cox, Ellen Page, and Tegan & Sara, over 15,000 people have spoken up at ProtectTransHealth.org and thousands more did so through partner organizations. Last week, HHS announced the deadline for public comments on this rule will be Tuesday, Aug. 13.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, applauded the comment count.
“We are so thankful for the energy and action being brought to this fight by transgender people, their families, and allies across the country,” said Keisling, “Already, we have thousands of comments from people denied entrance to hospitals, humiliated by doctors, or denied coverage for basic forms of treatment by their insurer. Medical providers, faith leaders, and allies have already spoken against this rule because the American people know that nobody should be treated differently simply because of who they are.”
Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, stressed the importance of fighting back against all of the Trump administration’s attacks on the trans community.
“I am heartened that thousands of people have spoken up against the attack on our access to health care, but our fight doesn’t stop here,” Hayashi said. “We need people to encourage their friends and family to submit comments and also to uplift those who are experiencing attacks by the Trump administration on multiple fronts. When the government proposes regulations that create barriers in our lives, it is sending the message that we don’t deserve the resources all people need to survive and it encourages violence and hate, especially against black trans women and trans migrants. Since the beginning of May, at least eight black trans women have been killed in the U.S. On the first day of Pride month, a trans migrant named Johana Medina Leon died alone in a hospital after weeks of begging ICE for medical care while she was in immigration detention. On every front, we must speak up and continue to take action.”
Transgender people face routine discrimination in health care settings. According to the U.S. Transgender Survey:
One in 4 transgender people have been mistreated by an insurer, including being denied basic coverage or denied any coverage.
One in 3 transgender people have been mistreated by a medical provider, including rude comments, humiliating questions about their anatomy, or being turned away from an office or hospital.
One in 3 transgender people have declined to visit a doctor out of fear of mistreatment.
Before Aug. 13, transgender people and allies can leave a comment condemning this move by the Trump administration at ProtectTransHealth.org.
— Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.