This week’s #WCW is a badass puertorriqueña shaking up the healthcare system so that it’s inclusive of all mujeres, not just those who are cisgender.
Working toward health equity and trans-inclusive health care, Joanna Cifredo’s impressive career started in Central Florida, where she taught comprehensive sex education to at-risk and underserved youth. Now in Washington, D.C., esta Latina engages with practitioners, policymakers and grassroots organizers to ensure that all trans individuals have access to the health care they need, regardless of the layers of their identity.
Below, find out just how Cifredo’s advocacy is putting another dent in the patriarchy.
You recently received the Visionary Voice Award by National Sexual Violence Resource Center for your work on health equity and trans-inclusive health care. What is trans-inclusive health care, and why is it necessary?
Trans-inclusive health care can mean a lot of things. It’s widely believed that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against transgender individuals seeking healthcare coverage; however, this is partially correct. The ACA made it so that an insurance company can’t deny you healthcare coverage for being transgender, but that doesn't mean they will cover transition-related treatment, such as hormone replacement therapy or transition-related surgeries that are often deemed "aesthetic."
Moreover, because many medical procedures are gendered, someone seeking a treatment for a procedure that would traditionally be rendered to someone of the opposite sex may have that procedure denied. For instance, a pregnant trans man seeking prenatal care or a pap smear may have that procedure denied because most insurance companies do not render that procedure to men. Likewise, trans women who need prostate exams may have that claimed denied as well.
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