toss ups

Is Obama’s Healthcare Plan As Bad for Gays as Ronald Reagan’s?


With the Senate’s healthcare bill securing 60 party-line votes to assure its passage out of one chamber of Congress, here comes the argument that the Democrat-led reform effort still doesn’t plug all the gaps needed by LGBT Americans. Like how queers are more often insane in the brain, and Obamacare is doing nothing to fix it!

There are lots of problems between LGBTs and the health care. Like, how it’s more expensive for us, and sometimes impossible to attain. And that there’s sparse government data being collected to enact change anytime soon. The Center for American Progress’s LGBT division head Jeff Krehely argues that under the Obama administration, nothing more is being done for us than Reagan did.

President Ronald Reagan jeopardized the lives of millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans by failing to commit federal attention to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s. President Barack Obama should learn from Reagan’s mistakes and attack the health problems LGBT people face today.

[…] First, LGBT Americans experience substantially reduced access to employer-provided health insurance. Second, for those who have coverage, many face a health care system that still lacks a cultural competence to treat their unique needs. And finally, all LGBT Americans, covered or not, still face the incessant, harmful social stigma that exists against LGBT people in our society.

There is also a lack of knowledge about the LGBT community’s health needs, and influential policymakers and advocates aren’t properly armed with information to implement effective policies and allocate the necessary resources to solve them. The main reason for this is that no national government surveys include questions related to sexual orientation or gender identity.

At the state level, only a handful of states regularly ask questions about sexual orientation. And to date only Massachusetts includes a question on gender identity in any government health survey.

Except the “LGBT-specific” health problems he lays out are the very type that right-wing bigots — Peter Labarbera, Tony Perkins, Richard Cohen — will point to as the very reason homos need to be shown the light back to heterosexuality.

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are twice as likely to experience psychological distress as their straight counterparts. They are more than twice as likely to need medication to treat emotional health issues, many of which are induced by those stresses.

Their transgender counterparts are in more acute danger from mental illnesses. They are 25 times more likely to have suicidal ideations than heterosexuals and 10 times more likely than lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults — who already suffer from elevated risk levels — to endure this suffering. And only one-third of African-American lesbians have received a mammogram in the past two years–the lowest screening rate of all demographic groups.

The dangers that affect LGBT youth are equally concerning. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are three-and-a-half times more likely to attempt suicide, and many health experts would argue that the rate for transgender youth is probably much higher — as it is for their adult counterparts.

So in a nutshell, or how critics will read it: LGBTs are crazy persons who are trying to off themselves faster than gay bashers can. Get these folks some treatment!