Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New Rules for ACA Implementation Are an Opportunity to Eliminate LGBT Discrimination in Health Care
Press Release

RELEASE: New Rules for ACA Implementation Are an Opportunity to Eliminate LGBT Discrimination in Health Care

Press Contacts

  • Tom Caiazza

Washington, D.C. – The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is changing the health care landscape for millions of people, including for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, Americans. However, discrimination against this community still exists, and the Center for American Progress has released an issue brief today calling on the law’s protections to clearly include sexual orientation and gender identity.

LGBT Americans and their families often report experiencing discrimination in the health system. One study found that more than half of the 5,000 LGBT respondents experienced harsh or abusive language, blame for their health status, physical abuse, or excessive precautions from health care workers based on having identified as LGBT. Some of those were even denied treatment for this reason.

“Discrimination in the health care system can have serious negative consequences for LGBT Americans,” said Kellan Baker, CAP Senior Fellow and author of the brief. “This treatment often leaves LGBT Americans skeptical of the health care system and less likely to seek services—exacerbating significant health disparities that affect the LGBT population and resulting in higher risk of serious health problems. The ACA is the best opportunity available to eradicate these disparities by creating a robust nondiscrimination framework.”

The White House Office of Management and Budget is currently considering rules that would clarify language in the legislation that bars discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, disability, health, or age. This rule-making process is a critical opportunity for the Department of Health and Human Services to state that sexual orientation and gender identity fall under these classifications and should be protected by the ACA.

Click here to read the brief.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at tcaiazza@americanprogress.org or 202.481.7141.