Biden administration aims to tackle discrimination in health care
The Biden administration aims to reverse a policy introduced during the Trump era, limiting protections for LGBTQ people in health care. The change will prohibit health care providers and organizations who receive federal funding from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
Advocates say this is a win, especially for the trans community. “Transpeople’s access care is already hard as is and are often discriminated in healthcare settings with the protections that already exists on a state and national level,” said Salisbury PFLAG’s Mark DeLancey.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Department says 25 percent of LGBTQ people who face discrimination either postpone or avoid receiving medical care in fear of discrimination.
TRANSliance’s Tina Jones says she’s seen friends be refused care and even had struggles herself. “Part of the decision making that I have to do now is.. is this serious enough for me to take that risk to go. That’s very real,” said Jones.
Despite this, she says that the action made by the Biden administration is important. “Not just for poor health choices, but potentially for suicide. Because we know that transgender youth commits about 40 percent of attempted suicide at some point,” said Jones.
That why allies like CAMP Rehoboth say they’re present in the community, making sure LGBTQ people feel comfortable talking to their medical providers. They also advise those who experience discrimination to take action. “I hope that folks who experience discrimination if they do, report it. There’s a mechanism for doing that now so I’m excited that those protections are now in place,” said CAMP Rehoboth’s David Mariner.
Biden has also reversed the ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military, issuing an executive order that extends existing federal nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people.