Resolution 48: Resolution for Health Care Equity For All

Submitted by the Communications Workers of America

Referred to the Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, the labor movement has a tremendous history of organizing for social and economic justice for all workers in the spirit of our historic motto, “an injury to one is an injury to all”;

WHEREAS, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers are a vital part of the labor movement;

WHEREAS, both the LGBT communities and the labor movement share common concerns for economic and political justice, equal opportunity, and an improved quality of life for all working people;

WHEREAS, access to health care is regularly denied to transgender and gender nonconforming people, who frequently experience discrimination;

WHEREAS, in September  2011, the Pride@Work National Executive Board passed a resolution opposing discrimination on the basis of gender identity in health care and calling on our sisters and brothers in labor to take action in support of transgender workers;

WHEREAS, transgender and gender nonconforming people have great difficulty securing affordable, comprehensive health care, and their situation is compounded by systemic discrimination and health care providers’ lack of basic cultural competency on transgender issues;

WHEREAS, many transgender people have their applications for health insurance denied when they disclose their transgender status or transition-related medical history to a potential insurer;

WHEREAS, most health care insurance policies still specifically exclude transgender-related care and services, which often means that transgender workers and family members will not be covered for procedures like: hormone therapy, transitional related surgery, and/or gender identity-related mental health services;

WHEREAS, gender identity discrimination is alienating and keeps people from accessing medically necessary care, and lack of coverage can cause and/ or aggravate additional serious and expensive health problems, such as stress-related physical illness, depression, and substance abuse problems;

WHEREAS, self and fully-insured employer  health plans are available and attainable  and insurance carriers have available plans without blanket exclusions for transgender-related health care, and a growing number of private businesses, three public sector employers (City of San Francisco, City of Berkeley, City of Portland) and some unions including UNITE HERE and SEIU are currently providing trans-inclusive health care coverage.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO removes any and all discriminatory health care exclusions directed toward transgender employees and the employee’s dependents from its health care policy and require tenants in its Washington, DC, headquarters to do the same.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO advocates for trans-gender inclusive health care for its members and members’ dependents during bargaining negotiations with employers.