Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors passed her motion to send a 4-signature letter to the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and submit a public comment in opposition to the federal Administration’s proposed changes to the discrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare):

“This Administration’s proposal would enable health insurers and health care workers to discriminate against vulnerable populations based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disease status, directly leading to reduced access to much-needed health care services and worsened health care outcomes.

Individuals who identify as transgender experience substantially higher rates of mental illness, including depression and suicide, than the general public. Perinatal depression, which can lead to negative impacts on birth outcomes, the mother’s long-term health, and child development, is especially acute in low-income, Latina, and African American women – as high as 38% in LA County. Further, residents who have limited or no English proficiency would face increased barriers to obtaining quality care.

The Administration’s proposed rule changes would expand discrimination, deepen inequities in health care delivery, worsen both physical and mental health care outcomes, and increase costs. The only purpose for these proposed rule changes is to cause harm.

My action at the Board of Supervisors today puts LA County on record as opposing this heartless proposed rule, and we will continue to stand against any discrimination based on age, disability, disease status, gender identity, language, immigration status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and all other protected characteristics.”