LGBT community fights back against CHIP amendment

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Parents, advocates, and supporters of the LGBT community rallied at the state Capitol on Tuesday.

“We’re going to run through this house and we’re going to ask the senators to please support our LGBT youth, our trans youth. It’s very important,” Naiymah Sanchez said.

A bill to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program was amended by senators last week. CHIP is set to expire at the end of the year. The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee passed the amendment prohibiting coverage of transition-related care. Senators in the committee voted party line; Democrats against the amendment, Republicans for it.

“It states it will no longer cover any transition-related services, including hormones, surgery or even therapy counseling and mental health care. It should go without saying that stripping children of health care is cruel and unusual, but particularly when it pertains to children who are already at high risk of violence, mental illness, homelessness, and suicide,” Noah Thompson said.

Calls to the committee chairman on why they amended the bill were not returned. The bill is now headed to the Senate. Gov. Tom Wolf says he will veto the bill if it bill passes with the amendment.

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