The federal Department of Health and Human Services is proposing to roll back an Obama-era policy intended to protect transgender people from discrimination in health care.
Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said the proposed rule, released Friday, would revise protections put into place in 2016 as part of the Affordable Care Act that defined discrimination "on the basis of sex" to include gender identity. Gender identity was interpreted as one's "internal sense of being male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female."
Two lawsuits temporarily blocked that definition from being implemented. Today's proposed action by HHS would go along with those court rulings and permanently remove gender identity from the classes protected from discrimination by the health care law.
Severino said at a press briefing that the proposed rule conforms with existing law.
"When Congress prohibited sex discrimination, it did so according to the plain meaning of the term, and we are making our regulations conform," said Severino in a statement. "We have concluded in our most recent filing with the court that discrimination on the basis of sex does not cover gender identity," he said during a press briefing.
If you haven't been paying attention, White House has now undone every rule the Obama administration put in place to protect transgender people from discrimination: https://t.co/rl9ltciV4l— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) May 24, 2019
Another sick attack on transgender Americans coming from the White House. All LGBTQ+ people should be able to access high-quality, gender-affirming health care. Period. https://t.co/0BhtF4yHYc— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 25, 2019