SAN JOSE (KPIX) — LGBT advocates are vowing to fight back against a Trump Administration proposal to roll back protections for transgender people in the Affordable Care Act.
“It erases our identity and pushes us further into the margins because we’re not allowed to be who we are,” said transgender activist Sera Fernando, expressing concern about the potential implications if the proposal were to become reality.
In 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services adopted a ruling that provided protection from discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.” The administration’s proposal would strip that language from the ACA and, with it, the express protection it provides.
“The way that this affects us the most is access to any kind of resources we’ll need — when it comes to health care benefits, when it comes to jobs, when it comes to living,” Fernando said.
Advocates for the LGBT community in San Jose called an emergency strategy meeting to discuss the president’s proposal.
“I’m extremely angry because not only does it mean that transgender people can’t get what they need medically from the Affordable Care Act but it also strips them out of existence and legal protections in the federal government,” said Gabrielle Antolovich, president of the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center.
Antolovich says the exact implications of the proposal are somewhat unclear but she fears it may give insurance providers the discretion to decide which medical procedures are necessary for transgender patients. She says she’s urging local and state governments to see if there’s a legislative fix at the local level should the policy proposal go into effect.
“On a state level, we need to make sure medical continues to support any transgender issues. So, we have to make sure that our state doesn’t change any funding mechanisms,” said San Jose city councilmember Pam Foley.