Washington, D.C. – In response to the dramatic Senate vote which ended attempts by Republican leadership to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement:
“Repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act collapsed late last night thanks to the hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ and other Americans who attended town hall meetings and rallies, made phone calls to their elected officials, sent emails, wrote letters and kept the pressure on senators. Passage of the bill would have cost thousands of LGBTQ lives and we’re profoundly grateful to all who took a courageous stand.
In their obsessive attempts to gut healthcare coverage for millions of Americans, Senate Republican leadership have followed a cynical playbook that makes a mockery of our political process. Their latest plan would have gutted healthcare for as many as 32 million Americans, defunded Planned Parenthood for one year, and allowed states to offer junk insurance policies once again. It was released under the cover of night, as if that would blind anyone to who was responsible or what the bill would have done.
The LGBTQ community would have been hit especially hard by a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, with millions losing healthcare coverage under the legislation. Being transgender or having HIV or other preexisting conditions meant that many LGBTQ people received coverage for the first time under the ACA. LGBTQ people are twice as likely to be living in poverty as the general public, making the Medicaid expansion and federal subsidies important components of the ACA which significiantly increased healthcare coverage for people in the LGBTQ community.
Our work is not finished on healthcare. Congress will have to work on stabilizing the insurance marketplace and many states may now choose to expand Medicaid. Equality California will continue to fight to ensure that LGBTQ Americans are protected and continue to have vital healthcare access.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org