This week we’re witnessing new attacks on the health and wellness of trans and gender nonconforming people. Nationally, the Trump administration has created a new division under the HHS civil rights office geared towards allowing and promoting discrimination against LGBTQ people in healthcare. Under the misleading name of “conscience and religious freedom,” this division will open the door for healthcare providers to deny care to anyone they may disapprove of, including denying care to trans and gender nonconforming people. We all value and enjoy religious freedom as established in the Constitution of the United States; this policy, however, is more concerned with denying health care to marginalized communities than the exercise of faith.
Here in Massachusetts, we have recently learned that the Group Insurance Commission – the state agency which provides healthcare coverage for Massachusetts state employees – is making changes to the plans available to employees. Under these changes, former plans, which provided coverage for transition related medical care, have been eliminated. The new plans to be offered by GIC have little to no coverage for transition related healthcare for trans and gender nonconforming state employees. This is a major problem, impacting the health and wellness of many members of our community. MTPC is currently making plans to attend upcoming public hearings on the issue, to ensure our voices are heard by the state.
Trans and gender nonconforming people already face disproportionate levels of discrimination, harassment, and denial in healthcare – and these new developments will likely raise those rates in alarming ways. The Mass Trans Political Coalition is here to send the message to policy makers and healthcare providers: transphobia in healthcare is unhealthy, unsafe, and unacceptable.
For more information, questions, or ways to get involved, contact Mason: MasonDunn@masstpc.org