By Scout, Ph.D. Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity A project of The Fenway Institute in Boston
Weeha! Sometimes life comes too fast, I’m just now reading the next generation of the Draft National Prevention Plan, that one created by the new uber healthcare reform group that includes half the U.S. Cabinet (meaning health isn’t just about U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, or HHS, any more, and it’s about time).
If you remember, we ran an action alert a while back urging folk to put in testimony on this plan, to among other things, name gender identity as a disparity marker. See our action alert here: Action Alert: Tell Gov’t to Incl Trans Folk & Collect LGBT Data in Nu Health Plan!
We also submitted a few different rounds of testimony ourselves to this group, and we also submitted a few different candidates for their advisory body, and we urged White House folk behind the scenes to please make sure an LGBT person got on the advisory group. While they didn’t pick our candidates, they did add the supremely able Jeff Levi, who has now even been named chair of the group! So, let’s just say, we’re trying to make sure they don’t forget us. Anyhow…
It’s my very great pleasure to announce that with this new draft plan, one of the main things we pushed to fix has been fixed, gender identity has been added alongside sexual orientation as a marker for disparities!!!
To quote the new draft prevention strategy, pillar four is…
4. Eliminate Health Disparities: Eliminate disparities in traditionally underserved populations to improve the quality of life for all Americans. Some groups are disproportionately affected by health risks including major disorders such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or viral hepatitis; high rates of infant mortality; and high rates of violence. Disparities often occur under conditions of social, economic, and environmental disadvantage. All Americans should have access to opportunities for healthy living and be supported in their efforts to make choices that promote long, healthy, and productive lives, regardless of race or ethnicity; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics.
Alas tho, it’s not all roses, the other big thing we asked for, to explicitly commit to enhanced LGBT data collection, not so much. Oh well, if life was all roses, we’d probably faint from shock, right?
Read full plan here.
Great job y’all! And let’s keep up the good work. If you aren’t on our direct mail lists for lgbt health policy advocacy opportunities email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure you get all the news first! (or subscribe to this blog)