Almost half of transgender people have experienced mistreatment by medical provider: research


Nearly 50 percent of transgender people in the U.S. have reported experiencing mistreatment by a medical provider, including refusal to give care and instances of verbal or physical abuse, according to a report released Wednesday by liberal think thank the Center for American Progress (CAP). 

The report highlights several disparities in health care experiences between transgender individuals and their cisgender counterparts, with the think tank calling on the federal government to put in place “nondiscrimination laws and inclusive policies” to ensure access to medical care for transgender individuals. 

The CAP drew on one of its surveys, conducted in June 2020, among more than 1,500 individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. 

In the survey, nearly 1 in 2 transgender people reported experiences of mistreatment by medical providers, with instances reported among 68 percent of transgender people of color. 

Additionally, roughly 28 percent of survey respondents said they had postponed or not received medical care “for fear of experiencing discrimination,” and 46 percent said they had an insurance company deny them gender-affirming care. 

The think tank also attributed health inequalities to medical care costs, with more than half of survey respondents saying last year that they have avoided “needed medical care” due to high costs. 

Sharita Gruberg, vice president of the center’s LGBTQ Research and Communications Project and one of the report’s authors, said in a statement to NBC News Wednesday that the “onus should not be on individuals,” to find access to quality and nondiscriminatory medical care. 

“It really should be on these institutions to do the right thing, and the resources and guidance is out there,” she added. 

President Biden since taking office has announced reversals on several Trump-era policies on health care for transgender individuals, including the previous administration’s decision to remove the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination protections that prevented health care workers from denying care to patients based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

However, the think tank on Wednesday called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other Biden administration agencies to safeguard additional protections and implement reforms. 

The report in part called for guidance from HHS informing state Medicaid programs that transgender exclusions “do not comply with federal law,” and expanded care for transgender federal employees. 

The CAP also urged the federal government to increase data collection on the experiences of transgender individuals, including how they have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Tags Center for American Progress healthcare costs Joe Biden LGBT community NBC News transgender community Transgender inequality

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