Yesterday afternoon, President Trump signed a “religious liberty” executive order as part of the White House’s National Prayer Day celebration. And while the rumored LGBTQ provisions were stripped from the order, the community isn’t out of the woods just yet, as the GOP had other plans. Just as the president signed his executive order, House Republicans passed their answer to Obamacare, eliciting a collective groan and fear from people all over the country.
The American Health Care Act, aka “Trumpcare,” is egregiously awful at face value, but a closer look reveals just how devastating the effects of “Trumpcare” will be on specific communities, including LGBTQ citizens. For example,the provision in “Obamacare” that expanded Medacaid for sexual and gender minorities would be gutted under the new law should it come to pass. Mark Joseph Stern of Slate reports that, “the rate of uninsurance among gay and bisexual people dropped from 22 percent to 11 percent between 2013 and 2015″ thanks to said provisions, and that “A significant portion of these newly insured individuals obtained care through Medicaid; the Center for American Progress estimates that today, about 1.8 million LGBTQ adults have Medicaid coverage.”
In addition, those who are HIV positive without children and/or disability would have to wait until their disease progressed to AIDS in order for to be eligible for Medicaid. And since HIV/AIDS predominantly affects LGBTQ people and Medicaid is the largest source of health insurance for HIV positive people, this alone would deal a crushing blow to the community.
“Trumpcare also allows states to opt out of the “essential health benefits” protected by the ACA; many of these benefits are critical to HIV treatment. And the bill would slash Medicaid by $880 billion while capping reimbursements to the states, diminishing the quality and availability of care overall,” writes Stern.
Through “Trumpcare,” the GOP can continue to wage their war against Planned Parenthood, by blocking the organization from receiving Medicaid reimbursements. This is defeating in and of itself, but when you look at the fact that Planned Parenthood serves as a lifeline for many LGBTQ patients, particularly trans patients, it feels all the more defeating. Without Planned Parenthood or the Affordable Care Act’s protections for gender non-conforming patients, these people will have nowhere to go.
So congratulations Republicans, you’ve advanced one step in your (senseless) fight against undoing Obama’s legacy, for no reason out of spite. But when all is said and done, 24 million Americans in total will lose their health insurance “killing tens of thousands of people each year.” How will they reconcile with that? Why, with a nice cold beer, apparently.
Cases upon cases of beer just rolled into the Capitol on a cart covered in a sheet. Spotted Bud Light peeking out from the sheet
— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) May 4, 2017