There have been several actions recently in Congress that caught our attention because of the potential negative impacts on the health and well-being of the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalized, disenfranchised, and historically excluded communities. As a convener in the dental public health space, AIDPH shares facts and information and remains committed to the fight to dismantle systems that perpetuate inequities to equitable and just access to care.
For example, we saw language in a recent draft of the National Defense Authorization Act eliminating insurance coverage for gender-affirming care and prohibiting some families from seeking this care. We also saw language in mid-July from the House Labor Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) appropriations subcommittee; its version of the FY24 LHHS appropriation bill eliminated funding from dental partnership programs that support people with AIDS and the dental health professionals who treat them. See the current bill summary here.
We know that gender-affirming care is widely supported by respected bodies such as the American Medical Association and is integral to the mental and physical health of transgender and gender-diverse individuals. As an organization that advocates for equitable dental public health for all, we believe in the importance of every person’s right to access medically necessary and evidence-based care. Just as oral health is critical to overall health, so is gender-affirming care. Let’s lean in from a position of what’s optimal for all Americans health and well-being. Learn more about the evidence-based support of gender-affirming care.
We also know that a specialized, “whole health” dental care approach for people with HIV and AIDS has a proven track record of success. Learn more here about evidence supporting whole health’s foundational elements. And here are a few resources with examples of how AIDS/HIV-related programs have improved dental public health access across AIDPH’s communities of focus.
We’ve said it before and say it again now — policies and practices that are exclusionary, discriminatory, and based on misinformation have no place in political rhetoric or legislative language. You can keep an eye on legislation in progress and opportunities for dental health advocacy by clicking “get alerts” on Congress.gov.