Donald Trump’s anti-LGBTQIA initiatives continue, with his administration revoking Obama-era anti-discrimination protections for transgender people in the health care sector.
In 2016, Barack Obama enacted a federal rule wherein a hospital could be required to perform gender-transition procedures such as hysterectomies if the facility provided that kind of treatment for other medical conditions. This rule was meant to carry out the anti-discrimination section of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), which bars sex discrimination in health care but does not use the term “gender identity.” The Obama regulation thereby defined gender as a person’s internal sense of being male, female, neither or a combination.
Under Trump, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated that it would bar sex discrimination only based on “the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”
Trump’s move – right in the middle of the month of June, when LGBTQIA people observe Pride – is but one of his moves to please his conservative and extremist supporters, prior to America’s November presidential election.
According to Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association (AMA): “The federal government should never make it more difficult for individuals to access health care, during a pandemic or any other time.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)stated that it would fight the new regulation, which it warned would “embolden health care discrimination against transgender people and those seeking reproductive health care.”
LGBTQIA civil rights group Lambda Legal also stated it planned to contest the discriminatory policy.