LGBT Community Centers Applaud Supreme Court for Helping Reduce LGBT Health Disparities


PRESS RELEASE

June 25, 2015

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dr. Scout, (954) 765 – 6024, scout@lgbtcenters.org

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Ft. Lauderdale, FL – This morning’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of Obamacare is solid progress in the battle to reduce persistent LGBT health disparities.

“LGBT people being chronically underinsured and uninsured is a fundamental piece of the pattern of well documented health disparities in our communities. The Supreme Court didn’t just decide to uphold a broad health law, they decided to uphold the single policy decision which has done the most to provide accessible medical care to LGBT people,” said Dr. Scout, the Director of CenterLink’s health arm, LGBT HealthLink. LGBT people have a constellation of health disparities including: smoking more, higher levels of mental health problems, other substance abuse issues, and lower levels of cancer screenings; all of these problems are aggravated by barriers to accessing healthcare.

“The hundreds of LGBT community centers across the nation are the safety net for LGBT people who are struggling, with health issues, with isolation, with discrimination,” says Terry Stone, the Executive Director of CenterLink, “as frontline providers, we have seen the impact this law has had on people’s daily survival. Now you can search LGBT friendly insurance providers, you have redress if an insurer doesn’t treat you the same as others, you have an option if your company does not provide partner insurance.”

As open enrollment first began LGBT HealthLink created a series of social media ads featuring LGBT people who had experienced problems accessing health insurance. “Within a few days of asking for people’s experiences we’d heard from trans people being outright refused medical care, one trans person living in pain because they couldn’t get care for certain body parts, a young gay man who lived in fear of ever needing to go to the hospital, a lesbian couple who was forced to commute 5 states for a job so one could continue getting her chemotherapy;” notes Dr. Scout, “the stories were heartbreaking. It also struck us that a year later, two of the ten people in our open enrollment ads had passed. Do not make the mistake of thinking that barriers to healthcare do not affect our lives.”

CenterLink and LGBT HealthLink want to congratulate the Supreme Court for helping reduce LGBT health disparities.

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LGBT HealthLink, a program of CenterLink, links people and information to spread LGBT wellness best practices across state health departments, federal policymakers, and community organizations. We are one of eight CDC-funded tobacco and cancer disparity networks. http://www.lgbthealthlink.org

CenterLink – was founded in 1994 as a member-based coalition to support the development of strong, sustainable LGBT community centers. A fundamental goal of CenterLink’s work is to help build the capacity of these centers to address the social, cultural, health and political advocacy needs of LGBT community members across the country. Now in its 21st year, CenterLink continues to play an important role in addressing the challenges centers face by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity, access public resources and engage their regional communities in the grassroots social justice movement.

http://www.lgbtcenters.org

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