Washington, D.C. — The Partnership to End HIV, STDs and Hepatitis vehemently opposes the proposed rule change released today by the Trump Administration that would roll back protections from discrimination in health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individuals under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Contradicting federal law and two decades of court precedent, this proposed rule will erect unnecessary barriers between two million transgender people in the U.S. and the health care coverage they need and represents the latest in a series of attacks on the ACA and the LGBTQ community. It also poses a direct threat to the health of millions of Americans and undermines the Administration’s own goal of ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. by 2030.
Gay, bisexual, and transgender communities bear the brunt of the domestic HIV and STD epidemics in the United States, particularly Black and Latino gay and bisexual men and transgender people of color. Removing the explicit protections provided under section 1557 reestablishes barriers to care for communities that already face significant challenges in accessing services. When paired with the rule released earlier this month exempting providers who cite moral or religious reasons from anti-discrimination policies, the Department of Health and Human Services seems to be taking direct aim at the health of communities most heavily affected by HIV and other health disparities.
The Partnership to End HIV, STDs and Hepatitis stands with our allies opposed to this proposed rule and urges the administration to reverse course. Our government should be working to eliminate barriers to care, rather than creating them, if our nation is to be successful at ending the domestic HIV epidemic, and related syndemics of STDs and viral hepatitis.
AIDS United (AU), NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), NMAC, and The AIDS Institute (TAI) are national non-partisan, non-profit organizations who formed the Partnership to End HIV, STDs, and Hepatitis in order to secure the necessary rights, resources, and services for those affected by the HIV, STD and Hepatitis epidemics through sound policies and appropriations at the federal level.