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LGBTQ+ Patients Face Challenges in Having Equal Access to Healthcare
by Hugo Amador
Last month celebrated the annual month long commemoration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer individuals around the country. This celebration honors the 1969 Stonewall uprising in Manhattan, from which the decades succeeding it have been spent memoralizing members of the community who have been lost to suicide, hate crimes, or HIV/AIDS.
The overall purpose of the recognition has been to highlight the impact the LGBTQ+ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally as well as emphasize the human rights that each individual in the community is entitled to.
However, this year’s pride month was met with backlash from state legislators and officials attempting to rescind certain accessibility to healthcare treatments within the LGBTQ+ community.
Overall, more than 300 bills targeting LGBTQI+ rights in state legislatures, many of which aim to limit access to health care or promote the use of conversion therapy. These bills have been introduced even after major medical organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have condemned their practice.
The bills targeting LGBTQI+ patients were introduced as a comeback to the Biden administration, which conjunctively with the department of Health and Human Services announced it will enforce Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and Title IX to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and geneder identity.
Additionally, The Biden Administration's American Rescue Plan plans to make investments in equitable recovery, which hopes to help LGBTQ+ families across the country recover from COVID-19.
These policies come after the previous administration had finalized and regulated policies that would ease protections for trangeneder patients against discrimination by doctors, hospitals, and health insutance companies.
However, the Biden Administation is putting emphasiss on the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law that established broad civil rights protections in health care, banning descrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
Even with the law, transgender patients continue to face obstacles that barr them from equitable acceess to healthcare treaments and services. Insurance, for example, proved to be a common issue; families struggled to get puberty blockers covered, while others found it difficult to find trans-friendly providers in network. Now, with the proposed bills introduced in state legislatures, LGBTQ individuals fear a harder time getting proper treatment.
Hugo Amador is an undergraduate student at Cornell University. He is currently studying cellular & molecular biology, journalism, and Latin American studies. After being born and raised in Honduras, Hugo moved to the United States in flee against gang violence where he has worked with many organizations in research/advocacy – primarily towards immigrant and refugee populations. He has given many TEDx talks, having his talks published with global organizations, and has also worked on clinical research within immigrant populations in the New York metropolitan area along with an infectious disease team. Hugo is the recipient of prestigious and competitive academic fellowships, such as the Cornell Commitment Fellowship, and is the founder of Hugo’s Movement, a not-for-profit that advocates for the access to equitable healthcare, education, and liberty of victims of war and gang violence, primarily immigrant children and adolescents. Hugo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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