Wednesday, March 23, 2011

National Coalition for LGBT Health Celebrates First Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

The National Coalition for LGBT Health is pleased to celebrate March 23, 2011 as the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. One year ago, when President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, he enacted the most sweeping change in the American health system in four decades. As part of the fabric of American society, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families are already seeing the benefits of this far-reaching transformation of our health system.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, LGBT people who have never been able to afford health insurance or health care will soon be able to access affordable private coverage or Medicaid in every state. A strong Patient’s Bill of Rights is already protecting access to coverage and care for LGBT people by prohibiting dollar limits on coverage and making sure that LGBT people are no longer vulnerable to losing vital coverage when they become ill. The Affordable Care Act is also key to efforts such as expanding LGBT cultural competency in the health care workforce, making preventive care available to everyone, improving data collection to better identify and address LGBT health disparities, and recognizing the increasing diversity of America’s families.

“Fundamentally, access to health care is social justice at its most basic. LGBT people need not only an end to legal discrimination but also access to the resources we need to lead healthy, happy lives,” said Hutson W. Inniss, Executive Director of the National Coalition for LGBT Health. “The Affordable Care Act offers a historic opportunity to prioritize prevention and wellness and make health care affordable and accessible for everyone, including LGBT people and their families. As queer people, we have a unique tradition of fighting for our right to health and caring for each other and our communities. Like Walt Whitman, Dr. Mary Edward Walker, Arizona hero Daniel Hernandez, and countless others, the LGBT community must help lead the fight to build safer, healthier communities for everyone in this country.”

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