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Sen. Wiener's First Transgender Comprehensive Health Care Act Passes Congress

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Sacramento – Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco)’s Senate Bill 923, the TGI Inclusive Care Act, passed Congress by a vote of 60 to 11. Now it’s heading to the Senate for final approval before going to the governor’s desk.

This first-of-its-kind law will help create a more inclusive and culturally appropriate health care system for TGI (transgender, gender-diverse, and intersex) people in California.

“We need to provide trans people with culturally appropriate medical care,” he said. Senator Wiener“This is the bare minimum we need to do to support the health and wellness of people with TGI. You don’t have to go to the doctor just to get your gender wrong or otherwise compromise your identity. California, Texas.” We need to be a bulwark against anti-trans laws and sentiment that is rising in states like SB 923 is the first bill in the nation to set the direction for TGI inclusive care nationwide.”

Continuing medical education (CME) for physicians includes an evidence-based and culturally appropriate curriculum that helps physicians provide comprehensive care for people with TGI.

· The Department of Health and Human Services to issue mandatory quality standards for treating patients with TGI and to work with departments and organizations that provide TGI to recommend curricula.

· Health insurers will provide TGI cultural competencies training to patient contact staff and delegated entities.

· Health insurance companies include in their network directory a list of in-network providers that offer gender verification services so that people with TGI know where to get specialized care.

· Relevant oversight agencies to track and monitor TGI Comprehensive Care complaints and publish findings in annual reports or websites.

SB 923 occurs when LGBTQ people, especially transgender children, are being attacked nationwide by right-wing national leaders. Many of these attacks seek to criminalize gender-affirming care. In February, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order making it illegal for parents to allow their transgender children to receive gender-affirming care. and children can be taken away and sent to prison simply because they have ensured that they receive the care they need. Abbott called gender-affirming care “child abuse.” Alabama just enacted legislation imposing her 10-year state imprisonment on parents and doctors who permit or provide gender-affirming care to their children. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a “don’t say gay” law, banning discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in public school classrooms.

While LGBTQ children are being attacked in Texas, Alabama, Florida, Arizona, and elsewhere, SB 923 points the other way. Treat TGI patients with the respect and care they deserve.

Discrimination in health care and lack of access to culturally appropriate care are major problems that many people with TGI face on a regular basis. The National Center for Transgender Equality reports that one-third of transgender individuals who consulted a health professional in 2014 had at least one negative experience of being transgender and The rates were even higher among people of race and disability. These negative experiences include denial of treatment, verbal harassment, physical or sexual assault, or having to tell providers about transgender people in order to receive appropriate care.

This is especially problematic given that people with TGI suffer from more chronic health conditions compared to the general population. There is a high incidence of health problems associated with sexual and physical violence, as well as a high prevalence and early onset of disorders that can lead to long-term health problems. Twenty-three percent report that fear of discrimination has delayed or prevented them from obtaining necessary medical care.

Additionally, while all health plans are required to cover gender-affirming care, it can be difficult for TGI patients to find practical providers who provide this care on a routine basis. This is a major obstacle for people with TGI to access the care they need.

Everyone has the right to quality, compassionate health care from an understanding, informed, and respectful provider. Providers make no assumptions about gender or sexuality and respect the autonomy of the body. We are already facing so many obstacles outside of. Going to the doctor should not mean facing further discrimination or unnecessary hardships.

People with TGI should have access to positive medical experiences. This includes finding health care providers who can provide the care they need in an open and supportive environment, and health care providers who offer gender verification services (Gender Verification Services includes but is not limited to breast reconstruction, mastectomy, facial feminization surgery, hysterectomy, masculinization or feminization of the voice, gender dysphoria or associated with an intersex condition hormone therapy, gender-affirming gynecological care, or voice therapy associated with gender dysphoria or intersex conditions). Gender-affirming care is very important health care and should be found and accessible to everyone who needs it.

The TGI-Inclusive Care Act will help build a healthcare system that meets the needs of people with TGI and provides a more positive patient experience.

SB 923 is sponsored by the California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network, Equality California, National Health Law Program, Trans Community Project, TransFamily Support Services, and Western Center on Law & Poverty. Co-authored by Congressmen Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), Evan Lowe (D-San Jose), Alex Lee (D-Frémont) and Christina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens).