Transgender Health Protections Reversed By Trump Administration, Report

The U.S. Trump administration has issued a rule that will rollback healthcare protections for transgender people under the Affordable Care Act. Therefore the Department of Health and Human Services has said it will now enforce sex discrimination protections according to the biological meaning of the words sex.

In 2016, the Obama administration issued a regulation that redefined sex discrimination as part Section 1557, prohibiting healthcare providers that receive federal funding from discriminating against patients on the basis of sex, which was expanded to include the "termination of pregnancy and gender identity".

"In a time when our nation and the world are facing an unprecedented pandemic, it is unconscionable that the Trump Administration would make such significant changes to our health care system that put the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk", Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said.

The fear is not idle, either: in a survey conducted in 2017, when these protections were supposedly in effect, 29 percent of trans people reported that a health care provider refused to see them due to their gender identity, and 12 percent reported being denied gender transition care; the discrimination faced by gay and bisexual people as a result of HIV/AIDS stigma is infamous. "The federal government should never make it more hard for individuals to access health care - during a pandemic or any other time", said Bailey. Those rulings may lay the groundwork for future lawsuits over the meaning of "sex" in Section 1557 or make such challenges even more hard.

HHS officials announced the finalized rule Friday (PDF), saying they would "restore the rule of law" and save about $2.9 billion in "undue and ineffective regulatory burdens over the next five years".

Numerous social and religious conservatives who have been supporting the Trump administration in this move disagree with that concept.

POLITICO first reported in late April that the Trump administration was finalizing the rules at a time when the US was recording almost 30,000 coronavirus infections each day. "We must elect Joe Biden, for the health and safety of LGBTQ+ people and all Americans".

In addition, Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services, made it clear that this decision will be challenged.

"The Trump administration's consistent attempts to undermine the ACA are detrimental to the well-being of all Americans, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other factor", said Commissioner Jessica Altman. This fell on the four-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre, where 49 people were killed. "However, this is enough to cause confusion and hurt our communities, especially transgender people and people of color who already face elevated rates of discrimination in health care settings".

The ruling received widespread condemnation from health care advocates representing hospitals, medical groups, insurers, and civil rights associations. Critics of the rule also worry it could affect other people in need of reproductive health care, including women who have had abortions. "But we have a reality check for them: We will not let this attack on our basic right to be free from discrimination in health care go unchallenged".