On Friday, the Trump administration finalized changes to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Disguised in a late-Friday announcement as “respect[ing] the dignity of every human being”, these changes removed legal protections for LGBTQ individuals against discrimination in healthcare settings. By limiting the definition of “sex discrimination” to male or female biological sex, these changes legalize discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. Not only does this change allow health insurance companies to charge different rates, but it also allows healthcare providers to refuse care to LGBTQ patients.

At UWHA, we believe LGBTQ rights are human rights and everyone deserves access to healthcare. Legal definitions do not change our duty to our patients, and we pledge to continue caring for all our patients to the best of our ability, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

This announcement comes at the time of a painful anniversary, the Pulse nightclub shooting, during Pride month, and in the backdrop of the recent murders of two black transgender women. We understand that many of you may be hurting right now. No matter who you are, you belong in our medical community and have our support. 

We will continue to advocate for justice for marginalized communities and work towards diversity and inclusion. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support or to share with us how we can do better. 

In solidarity,

UWHA Board

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