Challenges of Healthcare of Gays & Lesbians under Reform
Euphemistically, the population of gay and lesbian adults in this country has always been labeled “the ten percent”, owing to the presumptive political implications that have become significantly mainstream since this century began. Epidemiologic research done since the late-1990s had, perhaps more accurately pegged the true LGBT population at around 1 to 2 percent of US adults. The 2000 census is somewhat noteworthy for the initial inclusion of gays and lesbians into its data aggregates.
As a result of this and major political, policy, and mainstreaming of issues that affect and are affected by this population within the past 10 years or so, it seemed that the time was ripe for a re-evaluation of a traditionally marginalized population in heatlhcare policy research. A think tank dedicated to issues such as this has found that roughly 3.5 percent — or over 9M adults in this country — identify as gay or lesbian. (PDF link here.)
It only follows that the lives of the LGBT population are affected by changes involved with healthcare reform as in the other 97 percent of Americans who identify as heterosexual. Issues arising from preventive care coverage (HIV counseling, breast cancer screening etc.), and the specific prohibitions of claim denials for chronic diseases (active HIV infection, hepatitis C, etc.) are major wins for LGBT Americans who would have not received such comprehensive and competent coverage previously. A very good white paper [PDF] explains this in greater detail and relays the challenges that remain for the LGBT community under reform. Read it.