The Ongoing Political Debate over LGBTQ Health Care

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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The ongoing political debate over Health Care Reform has been unfolding for over a century. Lately, the focus has been on discontinuing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and its impact on specialty populations inside our community. It is not surprising how the pro’s and con’s of this topic is so heavily debated, due to the variety of cultures and diversities classified as “specialty populations” in the United States. When discussing this topic, one must be able to differentiate and fully comprehend the two terms; culture and diversity.

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Culture is defined as: “ A groups acceptance of a set of attitudes, ideologies, values, beliefs, and behaviors that influence the way the members of the group express themselves (Catalano, pg.540, 2015).” On the other hand, Diversity explains the differences between these said cultures. Diversity is separated into two groups: primary and secondary. Primary tends to be more evident, such as gender or race. In contrast, secondary is more diverse when it comes down to the individualization of that person. These can include education, gender identity, occupation, or sexual orientation (Catalano, 2015, p.542).

Furthermore, those who can compare and contrast these two terms will have a more detailed understanding of why the need for Healthcare Reform is so critical. Perspectively, it does not matter is you are a young child or an elderly adult. These decisions to cut out the Affordable Care Act will dramatically affect the most vulnerable. Joseph (Catalano, 2015) states this decision will ultimately determine who lives or dies. It will also “determine where nurses practice, what they are allowed to do, and their ability to be reimbursed for the services nurses provide at an individual and collective level (pg. 486).”

On another note, when discussing the LGBTQ population, they fall under a very vulnerable category that is often overlooked among healthcare professionals and the general public. Sexual and gender minorities face a number of obstacles when accessing health care, many of which can be pinpointed to the stigma and its potential consequences. Several LGBTQ individuals also experience barriers towards their care related to membership of the other stigmatized members of society (e.g., racial / ethnic minorities, low economic classes and those from certain cultural groups). Barriers include declining coverage for certain groups, issues relating to increase in cost, and stigma, including poor treatment from health care providers.

For example, a homosexual male and a traditional heterosexual male have the same exact job title as one another, while both receiving health insurance from their employer. He is unfortunately at a disadvantage in relation to his heterosexual colleague even if they have access to the exact same health insurance. Unlike most heterosexual couples, employees are required to pay federal taxes on the same sex partner’s employer provided health insurance.

“Moreover, health plans often fail to cover many services that impact LGBT individuals, including infertility treatment for lesbians. In some instances, access to reproductive and fertility services is denied on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation (Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 2009).” LGBTQ members are almost always faced with adversities and barriers to accessing the necessary health care, which can often contribute to worse health outcomes.

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The Ongoing Political Debate Over LGBTQ Health Care. (2020, Mar 08). Retrieved from