“My Future Will be Brighter”
“I’m only 20 years old and for the past 8 years I have been managing my condition: Crohn’s disease. I know I’m going to have it for the rest of my life. Fortunately it’s well managed because my family can afford my treatment, but even when I was younger I feared when I would have to face it all on my own without any help.
“Now that my health care is affordable, I feel like my future will be brighter. Currently I’m majoring in education to be a high school teacher. I feel like I will be a better teacher now that I don’t have to stress over my medical bills. Thank you for working on improving the lives of all of us, I’m excited to see what other improvements you will make for this country. You can count on my vote this November.”
“As long as I’m President of the United States, I will never allow Medicare to be turned into a voucher that would end the program as we know it. We will not go back to the days when our citizens spent their golden years at the mercy of private insurance companies. We will reform Medicare — not by shifting the cost of care to seniors, but by reducing the spending that isn’t making people healthier. That’s what’s at stake in this election…
On issue after issue, we can’t afford to spend the next four years going backward. America doesn’t need to refight the battles we just had over Wall Street reform and health care reform. On health care reform, here is what I know: Allowing 2.5 million young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan — that was the right thing to do. Cutting prescription drug costs for seniors — that was the right thing to do. I will not go back to the days when insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, or deny you coverage, or charge women differently from men. We’re not going back there. We’re going forward.
We don’t need another political fight about ending a woman’s right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood — or taking away access to affordable birth control. I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons. We are not turning back the clock. We are moving forward.”
Federal health-care programs and those funded with federal dollars are barred from discriminating against transgender people, a senior official with the Department of Health and Human Services told LGBT advocacy groups in July — a sweeping decision that will impact most health-care services across the country.
Although the decision does not specifically address transition-related care — surgery and other medical procedures that some transgender people undergo in the course of moving to their self-identified gender — a leading transgender advocate says the decision is a “tool” to get protections that would cover transition-related care.
In response to a letter sent by a dozen LGBT health and advocacy organizations to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in June, Leon Rodriguez — the director of HHS’s Office for Civil Rights — wrote on July 12 HHS considers discrimination based on “gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity” in federal health programs or activities receiving funding under Affordable Care Act-covered programs to be illegal.
In the letter, obtained by BuzzFeed, Rodriguez agreed with the groups’ assessment that the prohibition on sex discrimination in Obama’s health care law prohibited discrimination against transgender people and stated that his office would investigate any complaints of such discrimination.
Referring to a recent survey, National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling told BuzzFeed that 20 percent of transgender people report being turned away from a health-care provider for being transgender.
“That’s illegal now,” she said.
A step forward for Women’s Health in America
From free birth control to breast-feeding support, American women are now eligible for eight additional preventive health care benefits free under the Affordable Care Act.
- Well-woman visits
- Gestational diabetes screening
- HPV DNA testing
- STI counseling
- HIV screening and counseling
- Contraception and contraceptive counseling
- Breast-feeding support, supplies and counseling
- Interpersonal and domestic violence screening and counseling
Starting Wednesday, millions of American women will no longer pay for birth control pills, Pap smears or mammograms — not even a co-pay. Women also have the right to free breast-feeding support, supplies for pregnancy-related diabetes, also known as gestational diabetes, and even screening for domestic violence.