As reported yesterday, the latest iteration of the ongoing proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal, the Graham-Cassidy bill, would have devastating consequences for the health of LGBT people and people living with HIV if passed. Today, Fenway Health joins a growing list of major LGBT organizations opposing Graham-Cassidy. In a letter to the United States Senate, these organizations state: “We are deeply concerned about the negative impact that the Graham-Cassidy bill would have on many vulnerable and marginalized communities—including the LGBTQ community—that already face systemic discrimination and healthcare disparities.”
The letter goes on to point out that “the ACA has served as a lifeline for millions of LGBTQ people who too often have found themselves cut off from critical healthcare services. Prior to implementation of the ACA, LGBTQ people had some of the lowest insured rates of any population in the country.”
Those living with HIV would also lose lifesaving access under Graham-Cassidy, the letter adds. “For many people living with HIV, as one example, protections for those with pre-existing conditions has made insurance affordable and treatment accessible,” it reads. “Tens of thousands of people living with HIV have qualified for care under the Medicaid expansion, gaining access to life-saving treatments before becoming disabled by the virus. As a result, people living with HIV are able to have healthier and longer lives.”
Other organizations co-signing this statement include the ACLU, Lambda Legal, the Trevor Project, PFLAG International, Family Equality Council, and Callen-Lorde.
“LGBTQ people, particularly people of color and those living with HIV, face systemic discrimination and health disparities, which the ACA was helping to address,” the letter concludes. “Graham-Cassidy would take us backward, shredding the health care safety net and leaving many in our community to risk bankruptcy in order to obtain basic health care.”