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Record-Breaking 132,400 People Have Spoken Out To #ProtectTransHealth From Trump

As of yesterday's deadline for public comments on the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of a regulation protecting transgender people’s access to health care, a national coalition of civil rights organizations collected over 132,458 comments in defense of transgender health--more than any other regulation since Regulation.Gov was launched in 2003.

The National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender Law Center created the Protect Trans Health campaign in response to the May 24 announcement that the Department of Health and Human Services planned to roll back the Health Care Rights Law, an Obama-era regulation making it clear that discrimination against transgender people by providers, hospitals, and insurers is illegal under the Affordable Care Act. Learn more at ProtectTransHealth.org.

At the close of the comment period, HHS reports over 118,000 comments have already been accepted into the registry with tens of thousands more yet to be counted, surpassing previous regulations in most comments received by a proposed federal regulation since Regulations.Gov launched in 2003.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, pointed out that the scale of this campaign makes it difficult to ignore:
“We are so thankful for the thousands and thousands of people who have stepped up to speak out against this administration and its dangerous plan. We’ve heard from trans people sharing stories of prejudice at their moments of greatest need, family and friends advocating for the rights and safety of their loved ones, and doctors fighting for the good of public health. The Trump administration can never claim ignorance about the very real harm posed by this rule. HHS must not ignore the unified voice of a large community demanding they do the right thing and discard this ill-conceived proposal.”

Shelby Chestnut, Transgender Law Center’s Director of Policy and Programs, highlighted how the work continues for the Protect Trans Health campaign:
“Thousands of people resoundingly declared that no one should be denied access to health care. This is an incredible feat, though not the end of our campaign to Protect Trans Health. Now that the comment period is over, our community will continue to share know your rights information and strategize around possible responses should the Trump-Pence administration move forward with this proposed rule."

This week, 125 members of Congress condemned the rule and called for its immediate withdrawal, citing the rule’s potential to “embolden discrimination in our health care system and have devastating impacts on acccess to health care for millions across this country, exacerbating already troubling health disparities.”

Transgender people face routine discrimination in health care settings. According to the US Transgender Survey:

  • One in four transgender people have been mistreated by an insurer, including being denied basic coverage or denied any coverage.
  • One in three transgender people have been mistreated by a medical provider, including rude comments, humiliating questions about their anatomy, or being turned away from an office or hospital.
  • One in three transgender people have declined to visit a doctor out of fear of mistreatment.

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