The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: 1050 Connecticut Ave NW,Suite 65500,Washington, DC 20035,Phone: 202-393-5177

National LGBT Rghts Leader Addresses D.C. Protest Demanding Health Insurance Reform


National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund Executive Director
Rea Carey is among the progressive leaders speaking at today's large
protest outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C., where
America's Health Insurance Plans - the health insurance lobbying group
- is holding its annual policy conference.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund is the only
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organization
officially participating in today's protest organized by Health Care
for America Now, the nation's largest health care campaign designed to
stress the urgent need for health insurance reform. More than 50 major
labor, organizational and religious leaders teamed up with survivors of
health insurance industry abuse leading the crowd in protest.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

"Health care reform is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
issue. The lack of adequate, affordable health care is hurting tens of
millions of people and their families all across this country,
including our families. It is clear to nearly everyone that reform is
critically needed, yet the powerful health insurance lobby remains a
major obstacle. Blocking reform comes down to greed, and this must end.
This is why we are part of Health Care for America Now and why we stand
here today. There is no sound reason why anyone who wants insurance is
refused adequate and affordable coverage. Nobody should go bankrupt
because of health care.

"We're also here because the LGBT community refuses to let our lives
and families be left behind. Health care reform will happen, and it
must address some of the stark realities that LGBT people face every
day. How our families are legally defined greatly impacts the costs of
and access to coverage. Every April 15, LGBT families write an extra
check to the IRS to pay for domestic partner benefits - the very same
benefits opposite-sex married couples get tax free. Health care reform
must abolish the insurance industry's 'preexisting conditions' barrier,
which far too many in our community are subjected to because in 2010
the federal government still does not protect us from employment
discrimination. America, we can and will do better."

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we've made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That's why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you. Join us!