LGBT Advocates Celebrate Ruling Upholding Healthcare Reform Law
The nation's leading organizations advocating on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people celebrate the ruling and express strong support for implementation of the law's key protections over the next two years.
Today the United States Supreme Court delivered a huge victory to nationwide efforts to establish a health care system that works for everyone, including LGBT communities and the 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. By upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), today’s decision delivers on the promise of health care for more than 30 million uninsured Americans.
Today's ruling upholds critical protections for LGBT people and their families. We celebrate this ruling and the benefits it will have in improving access to quality, affordable health care for LGBT people without discrimination. There is no doubt that this law will hugely benefit LGBT people in the coming years.
This is an important victory for LGBT people and their families. The law addresses many of the most pressing problems impacting the health of LGBT people and their access to quality care, including financial barriers to insurance coverage and to preventive health care, and discrimination in the insurance market and by health care providers.
The preservation of the ACA is the best possible outcome for LGBT communities. According to Secretary Sebelius, LGBT people "face numerous barriers to health—from providers who don't understand their unique health needs to difficulty getting health insurance because they can’t get coverage through a partner or spouse. And unfortunately, throughout our country many LGBT individuals still face discrimination and bigotry in the health care system." Fortunately, she notes, "the Affordable Care Act may represent the strongest foundation we have ever created to begin closing LGBT health disparities."
The law for the first time prohibits gender-based discrimination by most health care providers – a ban that extends to discrimination based on gender identity and gender stereotypes, and thus provides critical protection for LGBT people. The law will also prohibit insurers from denying or canceling insurance because a person is transgender or has HIV or another medical condition. It will provide premium credits and expanded Medicaid eligibility to enable many individuals and families to obtain insurance for the first time. The law requires plans to cover a range of key services, and prohibits co-pays for many routine tests and other preventive care. The law includes several provisions that can improve the health and well-being of LGBT older adults, such as strengthening Medicare, expanding Medicaid, improving community long-term services and supports, and providing additional elder abuse and nursing home transparency protections. And the law has tremendous potential to impact the fight against HIV/AIDS by expanding access to testing and treatment and supportive community prevention efforts
The law is a milestone achievement in the long pursuit of LGBT health equity. We applaud the Court’s ruling and we will continue working with HHS as the law is fully implemented.
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competence training through SAGECare. With staff in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of affiliates across the country. Learn more at sageusa.org and lgbtagingcenter.org.