LGBT HealthLink, Missouri’s PROMO, and lawyer Corey Prachniak, Tuesday released the first ever LGBT Healthcare Bill of Rights (HBOR). The bill, in both long form and wallet sized versions, outlines the protections and rights LGBT people have in healthcare today.
Prachniak, Chair of LGBT HealthLink’s Steering Committee, explained the significance of HBOR.
“We have more healthcare protections now than ever before, but what’s holding us back is we don’t always know about them. We hope this tool will change that reality,” Prachniak said.
When PROMO started to contact local hospitals as part of a LGBT health policy project, they learned firsthand how large the gap between protections and knowledge was.
“The Joint Commission now prohibits hospitals from discriminating against LGBT people, but when we contacted hospitals almost no one knew this was the case,” said PROMO’s Andrew Shaughnessy. “We’re happy to report that many of our hospitals have now adopted nondiscrimination policies, but this just emphasized how important it is for LGBT people to be educated about our rights.”
The release was timed to coincide with the beginning of open enrollment in insurance exchanges.
“Too many of us don’t realize these insurance exchanges can’t discriminate against us for being LGBT,” Prachniak pointed out. “This is the type of information we need to be shouting from the mountaintops.”
As of Tuesday, 46 national and regional organizations have signed on as partners for the HBOR.
“LGBT community centers, equality organizations and national LGBT leaders have all signed on; it just shows how important health equality is to all of us,” added Prachniak.
LGBT HealthLink’s Dr. Scout expressed hope that the new Healthcare Bill of Rights will have a long-term effect.
“We know LGBT people suffer from stigma related health issues like smoking or mental health problems. We know we see doctors less, which means we also don’t get well-person care like cancer screenings,” Scout emphasized. “The first step in breaking this chain is getting LGBT people in regular healthcare; we hope this tool will help many of us take that step.”
To learn more and to download the bill, visit HealthcareBillOfRights.org. Organizations interested in becoming partners and receiving a copy of the bill with their own branding should visit the Our Partners page or contact HealthLink@lgbtcenters.org.
Current Partners (list in formation)
AccessMatters (Philadelphia, PA)
Affirmations (Detroit, MI)
C.L.A.S.H. (San Francisco, CA)
Center for Black Equity, The
Center on Halsted (Chicago, IL)
Community Center, The (Boise, ID)
DC Center for the LGBT Community, The
Equality North Carolina
Fierce Pride (NM)
Gay Community Center of Richmond
Gender Expansion Project
Health Initiative, The (Atlanta, GA)
Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center
Montrose Center, The (Houston, TX)
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality, The
National LGBT Cancer Network, The
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Youth Pride Services
Newark LGBTQ Center
one*n*ten (Phoenix, AZ)
Organization for Transgender Health Empowerment Resources
Out, Proud and Healthy In Missouri
Perceptions Saginaw Valley (MI)
Phoenix Pride LGBT Center
Q Center (Portland, OR)
Resource Center (Dallas, TX)
Safe Schools Alliance
Trans People of Color Coalition
Transgender Law Center
Triangle Community Center (CT)
William Way LGBT Community Center (PA)