There has been some truly great coverage of yesterday’s #transhealthcareNOW action at the HX Refactored conference, including Democracy Now! featuring the action in their headlines this morning and Autostraddle writing a brilliant analysis on the hypocrisy of New York’s Department of Health excluding transgender people from healthcare coverage while on their own website talking about healthcare disparities.
To add an additional layer of absurdity, the NY Department of Health website has a relatively comprehensive section about LGBT health, headed by the statement that “One of the goals of the New York State Department of Health is to eliminate disparities in health care access by increasing the availability and quality of health care services for New York’s underserved populations.” The page links to sites like Injustice at Every Turn, the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health and a specific page describing the obstacles trans people face in getting healthcare. This page notes,
“Transgender persons are often reluctant to seek medical care through a traditional provider-patient relationship. Some are even turned away by providers. A doctor who refuses to treat a trans person may be acting out of fear and transphobia, or may have a religious bias against LGBT patients. It’s also possible that the doctor simply doesn’t have the knowledge or experience he needs. Furthermore, health care related to transgender issues is usually not covered by insurance, so it is more expensive.”
Clearly, the Department of Health has the information it needs in order to have a pretty solid understanding that trans people face incredible obstacles when seeking healthcare, but this understanding is pretty hollow when their own regulations do the work of creating the barriers they describe. #TransHealthcareNOW reminds New Yorkers that trans people need real action from the state. Given the positive response of HxR conference attendees today, it seems clear that New Yorkers are starting to hear the message. The question that remains is when the Department of Health will wake up and smell the justice.
You can read the whole Autostraddle article here and watch the Democracy Now! clip below (at the ten minute mark)!