Sex Workers Created "Hookers For Healthcare" To Fight The ACA Repeal

Photographed by Megan Madden.
People from many different demographics have spoken out against the Trump administration's proposed healthcare plan. Women, trans folks, disabled people, low-income people, and many more Americans stand to be negatively impacted by the American Health Care Act. Now, another group is coming out against it — the legally operating sex workers in Nevada.
The group, calling themselves "Hookers For Healthcare," says that the bill currently being debated in the Senate would be devastating for many people in their profession, along with non-sex workers who work at the brothels in Nevada, like drivers, cashiers, bartenders, and housekeepers. At the head of the campaign is 27-year-old Alice Little, who works at Dennis Hof's Sagebrush Ranch brothel. According to CNN, about a hundred women have already signed up to be involved with this campaign, all of them employees in one of the seven brothels owned by Hof.
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Under the Affordable Care Act, many sex workers were able to obtain affordable health insurance for themselves and their families for the first time. The repeal of the ACA would jeopardize that. "We are people. We have families. We have the same health concerns as other Americans," Little told CNN.
In a blog post that appeared on Hof's Bunny Ranch blog, Little lays out her case against the GOP's healthcare plan. "A young woman entering our business who in some cases may also be a single mother with limited financial means will also need time to build her customer base," Little writes. "Expanded access to Medicaid for her or her child may be the only way that she is able to know that they will be covered for health care until she can increase her income."
They could lose access to medications that protect them, like Truvada, the antiviral to prevent HIV transmission. The defunding of Planned Parenthood would affect many sex workers' ability to seek reproductive healthcare, including birth control, health screenings, and, should they need it, abortion access. Sex workers who do not operate legally — Nevada is currently the only state where sex work is legal — face even greater risks under Trump's healthcare plan, particularly if they are women of color or LGBTQ-identified, because the risk of criminalization and incarceration always hangs over their head. They are also at increased risk for rape or violence, which would be considered preexisting conditions under a new healthcare bill.
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Despite the fact that Hof is a Trump supporter who would like to see the ACA repealed, he encouraged Little to post her statement on his brothel's website. "I love that they're involved," he said. "These girls are smart, they will be running our country, and they vote," he told CNN. However, he also said, "I believe in people taking responsibility for their own lives, and not asking for these kind of government handouts... You start giving these working girls free or discounted health care coverage, then what comes next? ... This is definitely not a road we want to go down."
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