No to health care discrimination

No to health care discrimination

Tell the Department of Health and Human Services:

"Do not enact your proposal to legalize discrimination in health care."
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    No to health care discrimination

    When two-year-old Katie knocked her tooth out, the dentist wouldn't treat her because she has two mommies. When an Oklahoma rape survivor needed emergency contraception, her emergency room doctor refused, citing religious beliefs. And Tamesha Means of Michigan was forced to suffer an infection and hemorrhage when her water broke at just 18 weeks after she was turned away twice because Mercy Health Partners hospital refused to provide emergency miscarriage treatment.

    These are real stories from real people--and the situation will only worsen if Trump's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has its way. On Friday, it announced a new rule to allow any medical professional, insurance plan, or hospital to refuse to treat a patient on "religious or moral" grounds--legalizing the kind of discrimination these women faced, and basically threatening that discrimination on a massive scale.

    For a rural woman suffering from a miscarriage, this could mean being turned away from the ER. For LGBTQ folks, a homophobic doctor could refuse to treat any condition, including in an emergency. And for the 40 million women on Medicaid, legalized discrimination makes it hard or impossible to find another provider that takes Medicaid insurance.

    There's a chance to stop this. HHS is taking comments from the public before this proposal becomes law. We need our comments to outnumber those submitted by religious extremists who support this proposal. A furiously loud outcry will demonstrate to Trump's HHS that there will be a political price to pay for messing with our health care and will convince it to reverse course. Can you sign and leave a comment opposing this sick proposal to legalize medical discrimination?

    When you leave a comment, it's best to speak in your own voice, but here are some points you can include:

    • This proposal puts religious beliefs over the needs of patients to the point of putting patients' health, and even lives, in danger. Hospitals that take taxpayer dollars should not be allowed to discriminate against patients. Plain and simple, this rule legalizes that discrimination. That's why major medical organizations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists overwhelmingly oppose such discrimination.
    • Under this rule, a woman can be denied birth control simply because her provider or pharmacist only believes in the "rhythm method." A hospital administrator could cancel a woman's decision to have life-saving cancer treatment because it might harm her pregnancy. A child whose parents happen to be of the same sex can be refused urgent treatment by a pediatrician or dentist. A mental health clinic can refuse to see a woman in a same-sex relationship.
    • Many Catholic hospitals already turn away women suffering from miscarriage, subjecting them to infection or severe hemorrhage. This is dangerous, particularly in rural areas without other options, as well as illegal. HHS is proposing to make it legal for ALL hospitals. That's wrong.
    • This proposal is particularly dangerous for the more than 40 million women on Medicaid. Medicaid finances 75% of all publicly funded family planning services and nearly half of all births--areas of care which are often the target of discrimination by providers. When targeted for discrimination, compared to privately insured individuals, Medicaid patients often have nowhere else to turn that accepts Medicaid insurance.
    • This proposal is particularly harmful for women of color. Among women of color who are also of reproductive age, 31% of Black women and 27% of Latinas rely on Medicaid. Black women already face a several times higher rate of maternal mortality compared to white women--and this proposal endangers quality care even further.