Transgender Military Ban On October 30, 2017, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the Trump Administration’s proposed transgender military ban.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said that her order protects the status quo and will allow transgender individuals to continue to enlist and serve openly in the armed services. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Negotiations continue to find a solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program was ended by President Trump on October 5, 2017, and Congress has yet to act on a solution. The latest proposal would include a DACA provision in the year-end spending bill. That spending bill is also necessary to keep the federal government funded and operating. Republicans have ruled out this option while Democrats have signaled their willingness to shut down government operations without a DACA provision included.

There have been no hearings or votes on any of the DACA related legislation currently pending in Congress. Children’s Health Insurance Program and Community Health Center Funding On November 3, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives reauthorized federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Community Health Centers. Funding for both programs expired on September 30, and the November 3 vote represents the first significant congressional action on the matter. The House vote was largely along party lines and was supported overwhelmingly by Republicans. Democrats voting “no” cited several provisions in the bill which would chip away at funding for the Affordable Care Act. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate, but because it contains significant differences from the House version, expectations are uncertain.

CHIP is a state and federal partnership providing health insurance to approximately 116,000 low income children in Michigan.

Without congressional action, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) estimates that they will end CHIP funded services in April or May 2018.

Community health centers are federally-funded medical facilities that provide access to primary care health services, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay or their insurance status. In Michigan there are 45 health centers providing care at more than 260 urban and rural locations. Community health centers in Michigan serve more than 680,000 patients.

Without renewed federal funding, more than 100,000 of those patients will lose access to critically needed medical care, dental services, and behavioral health services. It’s worth noting that here in Lansing, Ingham Community Health Center was one of only two health care facilities in Michigan to receive a 100/100 from the Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index. Health centers are places where LGBTQIA people can go to receive care and know that they won’t be turned away, regardless of their insurance (or lack thereof).

Contact your legislators regarding these or any other federal issues:

• Senator Debbie Stabenow 517-203-1760

• Senator Gary Peters 517-377-1508

• Congressman Mike Bishop (8th District) 810-227-8600

• Congressman Tim Walberg (7th District) 517-780-9075

• Congressman John Moolenaar (4th District) 989-631-2552