‘Fierce warriors’ rally against Trump plan to undo trans health rule

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Transgender advocates rallied in opposition to a Trump administration plan to undo a transgender health care rule. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Transgender rights advocates rallied Tuesday night in defiance of Trump administration plans to roll back a rule under Obamacare barring health care providers from denying treatment to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery.

The attendees congregated at the headquarters of the AFL-CIO near the White House as the Trump administration considers reversing the Obama-era rule interpreting Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which bars sex discrimination in health care, to apply to transgender people.

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Cuomo issues order against anti-trans discrimination in health care

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an order against anti-trans discrimination in health care. Washington Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers.

As New York celebrated Pride, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced a series of actions to assure transgender people in the state have access to health care, including transition-related care such as gender reassignment surgery.

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Trump’s HHS secretary dodges question on trans health care

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar dodged a question Friday on whether the Trump administration would repeal an Obamacare rule barring medical practitioners from denying health care to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery.

During the White House daily briefing, which Azar attended to flesh out President Trump’s plan to lower drug prices that he announced moments earlier in the Rose Garden, the health secretary professed he was unaware of the issue in response to a question from the Washington Blade.

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White House won’t comment on HHS proposal to nix rule for trans health

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The White House has declined to comment on recent indications the Trump administration is set to undo an Obama-era rule barring medical providers from refusing service to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery.

The Washington Blade sought to ask White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the proposed reversal Monday during the daily briefing, but the spokesperson didn’t call on the Blade for a question, nor did any other reporter ask about the issue following a report on the development in the New York Times.

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Md. gubernatorial candidate chooses lesbian running mate

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Julie Verratti co-founded Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring, Md., with her wife, Emily Bruno, and her brother-in-law. Photo courtesy of Daniel Ensign/Alec Ross for Governor.

A Maryland gubernatorial candidate has chosen a lesbian business owner as his running mate.

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LGBT, HIV groups pan Trump’s executive order on health care

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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LGBT and HIV/AIDS groups are criticizing President Trump’s executive order on health care, asserting the measure endangers people with pre-existing conditions who could be left out in the cold.

Trump signed the executive order Thursday in the Oval Office in front of Vice President Pence, senior administration officials and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposes Obamacare, but has threatened to vote “no” on legislative replacement plans.

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Trumpcare appears defeated, but LGBT opponents remain wary

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: President Trump poses in cab of firetruck on day GOP support for Trumpcare crumbles. (Image courtesy of C-SPAN)

After Republican support crumbled for Trumpcare, LGBT advocacy groups that sought to preserve the Affordable Care Act are quietly confident it will remain in place — although they say they’re keeping a watchful eye.

Late Monday night, two Republicans — Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) — announced they’d vote “no” on the latest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). With Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) already opposed to the bill, the defections of Lee and Moran assured defeat of the bill if it came to the floor.

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How Trumpcare, or its Senate component, may affect the LGBT community

By : Billy Manes
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“This is a funeral procession. When we get to Sen. Marco Rubio’s office, we’ll have speakers and then we’ll have a die-in,” was the rallying call on June 28 as protesters took to the streets to march against the competing Republican agendas meant to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. The march, which started at Orlando City Hall and ended up across the street at Rubio’s home away from home, was blotted by rain and was suitably somber.

“What do we want? Healthcare. When do we want it? Now,” was the refrain as dozens of people walked the street in favor of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and those who were simply blocked out of coverage by Florida’s refusal to expand Medicaid to nearly one million people caught in the coverage gap. Likewise, others just saw the crumbling pieces of the nation’s healthcare conundrum, currently being argued between the U.S. House and U.S. Senate regarding a complete overhaul of medical care in the United States.

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Uprisings: Health and horror

By : Billy Manes
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Have you ever been sick? I mean, so sick that you really needed help of the professional kind, maybe even a friend to drive you to the hospital? With Obamacare – or, as it’s really called, the Affordable Care Act – passage fading in our rearview mirrors right now, there are a lot of things we need to talk about in moving forward. But what we’re talking about now – namely, the failed Trumpcare plan – is a daunting wisp of comb-over terror. Republicans have seized on this notion that, when squinted at, reads like, “Support big pharma; screw the little guy.” There is nothing to this rhetoric that doesn’t reek of opportunistic capitalism, and there is not a brown pill bottle around to smooth over its side effects. What we’re talking about now – thankfully also in the past tense – is an illegible plan to make health an investment, to make people suffer more.

It may sound a little socialist, and for that I smile, but the health of our nation is certainly the best investment possible from a government. We buy things. Just four years ago, I watched a friend deal with the death of a single mother as she fell apart and fell down while trying to sell vacuum cleaners on the side for extra money. Her condition was treatable. Her bank account was not. Charlene Dill became a symbol of all it is that we are doing wrong in terms of taking care of our citizenry. Charlene Dill is dead.

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Arkansas university won’t cover gender transition treatments

By : Wire Report
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Gender transition treatments will no longer be covered by University of Arkansas System employee insurance plans.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the school system’s self-funded insurance plans for employees will cover the services until March 6.

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Uprisings: No apologies

By : Billy Manes
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By now, we’ve all had a few weeks to breathe in the post-traumatic, post-Trumpian world of Tweets and nonsense. By now we’ve survived our Thanksgiving skirmishes with chest-puffed grumpy uncles and the general racists and horror shows of our particular broods. By now, we’ve even danced around the daisies of Green Party hopeful Jill Stein and her swing-state strategy of proving nothing in a recount that is not meant to benefit former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but rather to flex her own nascent political muscle one last time. By now, we’re aware of the hell we’re facing.

There isn’t nearly enough sugar – outside of Big Sugar – to coat the results of the Nov. 8 general election and its subsequent horror of errors. In just a week or so, the Electoral College will cast the final stone, leaving us swirling in a vacuum of idiocy, most of which will be stuffed with as much acrimony as a fraudulent billionaire can afford. Donald Trump got his wish: he is king of the mountain; it’s all on him.

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Federal complaint states insurance companies discriminating against patients with HIV/AIDS

By : Jamie Hyman
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Fort Lauderdale (AP) – Two health organizations have filed a complaint with federal health officials alleging some Florida insurance companies are violating the Affordable Care Act by structuring their insurance plans in a way that discourage consumers with HIV and AIDS from choosing those plans.

The National Health Law Program and The AIDS Institute said four insurance companies offering plans in Florida through the federal online exchange required HIV and AIDS patients to pay a percentage of their often expensive drugs instead of a flat co-pay.

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