The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, TransJustice of the Audre Lorde Project, and GLOBE: The LGBTQ Justice Organization of Make the Road New York are celebrating New York State’s proposed Medicaid regulation as an important step towards safe and affirming healthcare for trans people. But we still have work to do to push for real access to healthcare for all trans people. As it stands, the new regulation will not cover all of the life-saving surgeries or medical needs of our trans and gender nonconforming communities, particularly trans women, trans youth, low-income trans people, trans people in prison, and undocumented trans people. The Department of Health needs to hear from us now!Take Action Now!
There are two ways to take action to fight for real trans healthcare access for all of our communities.
- Click here to sign SRLP, ALP, and GLOBE at Make the Road NY’s petition and add a comment that we will share with the Department of Health.
- Copy and paste the text below into an email, adding additional comments before your signature, and send it to Katherine Ceraolo, Department of Health at firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline to submit comments to the Department of Health is Monday, February 2, 2015.Take action now!
Dear Katherine Ceroalo, DOH Bureau of House Counsel, Regulatory Affairs Unit:
I am writing to thank you for the proposed regulations that make Medicaid more accessible for trans and gender non-conforming people. Our communities have worked very hard over the past 12 years to regain access to this life-saving care, and we are excited that New York is a state that wants to provide affordable, accessible, and competent care to all of its people, regardless of their gender identity.
I support the proposed regulations with the following amendments:
1. Remove age restrictions that prevent youth under 21 from receiving gender-affirming healthcare. Having accessible and comprehensive health care is particularly important for youth and young transgender people. As I am sure you are aware, suicide rates among trans youth are some of the highest of any demographic. According to the Williams Institute, 45% of transgender people under 18 have attempted suicide.Youth under 21 are more than capable of making decisions about their bodies, and should have the agency to make decisions about the type of care they receive from their health care providers.
2. Remove the list of uncovered procedures designated “cosmetic” and let trans people and their doctors determine what is best for their care. Healthcare is never a “one size fits all” equation. Many of the procedures that can be vital to our well-being, self-esteem, and can contribute to our safety are not going to be covered by Medicaid. Specifically, the list of exclusions for care clearly outlines a number of life-saving procedures that many of our community members seek for gender-affirming treatment. Other states do not have similar lists of exclusions. Given the varying needs we all have, it is detrimental to our community to list out procedures that won’t be covered.
3. Develop training for healthcare providers. Ensure that healthcare providers have opportunities to develop trans competency and trans-health-specific skills to provide safe, quality, and affirming care for our communities.
4. Create an oversight committee to ensure accountable implementation.
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