The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) applauds the Obama administration for ensuring that women with health insurance coverage will have access to necessary preventive care including contraception without being charged a co-pay, co-insurance, or a deductible. More importantly, we commend the administration for expanding the new rule to apply to religious organizations that provide health insurance to their employers.
NCTE’s Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “Access to the most basic health care means that everyone should have it, regardless of whether you can pay a ten or twenty dollar co-pay, and regardless of the religious affiliation of your employer. And that basic health coverage must include full access to preventive care and contraception.”
In a joint letter in December 2011, along with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, we asked the President to ensure that the religious exemption written into the Affordable Care Act does not deny important services to women. Keisling said, “Discrimination and disrespect has led to some of the worst health outcomes for transgender people. And these so-called ‘conscience clauses’ have allowed private religious beliefs to trump research-based practices, weakening the care given by doctors, and ultimately endangering public health.”
Keisling added, “Because of our concerns, President Obama and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius took important steps to help women own their own healthcare decisions, and put science back at the center of medicine.”