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Reversing Trump, US Restores Transgender Health Protections

todayMay 11, 2021

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The Biden Administration announced Monday the U.S. would ensure gay and transgender people do not face sex discrimination in health care. This reverses one of former President Donald Trump’s policies that aimed to limit legal rights in sensitive situations such as medical care.

What We Know:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s announcement asserts that federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination in health care apply to gay and transgender people. During Trump’s presidency, his administration defined one’s “sex” as the gender assigned at birth. Defining “sex” as so excluded transgender people from the law’s protection. The Associated Press (AP) writes this decision now aligns with the 6-3 June 2020 Supreme Court decision, which determined that federal laws against workplace gender discrimination also protected gay and trans people.

“Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences… Everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period,” proclaimed HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

  • Trump tweeted the Supreme Court decision was “horrible & politically charged” at the time, and he continued trying to narrow protections against discrimination. However, a federal judge blocked his transgender rule.
  • At the beginning of his term, President Joe Biden began working to overturn these restrictions. Biden demanded government agencies apply the Supreme Court’s reasoning to areas under their jurisdiction. In addition, his actions reinstate an Obama-era policy. The AP reports the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibited sex discrimination. Also, the ACA did not utilize the term “gender identity,” and the Obama administration thought the law helped transgender and gay people.
  • Opponents and supporters of the action feel it may lead to litigation. Further, it means the HHS Office for Civil Rights will begin investigating complaints of sex discrimination once more. Medical providers like hospitals, clinics, and more can lose Medicare and Medicaid payments if they violate the law.
  • Biden has reversed other biased policies, such as one that greatly limited transgender citizens from serving in the military. The AP provides more information on other overturned plans. Some conservatives disagree with the motion. Roger Severino, a former HHS official, and lawyer said the administration cut corners. He feels Becerra should have attempted a former rule-making, which takes months. Other conservatives felt that doctors could be forced to complete gender reassignment measures against their professional judgment.
  • Regardless, the Biden Administration’s resolution has garnered praise. The American Medical Association (AMA) released a statement in which they wrote Biden “did the right thing” by ending a chapter in which ” a federal agency sought to remove civil rights protections.”

Not only is Biden guaranteeing transgender voices are heard, but he is also making sure they are seen. In March, he nominated Dr. Rachel Levine to be the first trans-Assistant Secretary for Health. The position provides oversight on public health initiatives, HIV/AIDS, women and minority health, and more. Her election, alongside Biden’s policies, will provide better health care opportunities for transgender people.

The post Reversing Trump, US Restores Transgender Health Protections appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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