LGBTQ Health Care Bias Protections Get HHS Green Light (1)

The Biden administration is strengthening civil rights protections for transgender and other LGBTQ people in a federal rule that could quickly face legal challenges.

The final rule (RIN 0945-AA17), announced Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services, reverses a Trump-era regulation and restores protections against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation under section 1557 of the Act of affordable care.

Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability by entities that primarily provide medical care and receive federal funding. It is enforced by the HHS Office for Civil Rights.

The new rule means Americans across the country now have a clear way to act on their anti-discrimination rights when they go to the doctor, talk to their health plan or participate in health programs run by HHS, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

The new rule comes as more than 20 states have limited or banned care for gender-affirming children, according to KFF. KFF also noted that more than a dozen states are facing lawsuits over their youth gender care policies.

The rule also follows the 2020 US Supreme Courts decision Bostock v Clayton Countyin which the justices ruled that LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In light of Bostockthe Biden administration in 2021 announced that it would interpret the word sex in the ACA to include gender identity.

gender identity

As part of the ban on sex discrimination, this rule prohibits discrimination against people who do not conform to stereotypical notions of how a person is expected to present as male or female, regardless of gender identity. genre. This is consistent with longstanding case law, the HHS rule said.

More than 85,000 comments were submitted to HHS after the rule was proposed. Comments came from LGBTQ+ organizations, religious groups and others.

In the rule, HHS said commenters had had problems Bostocks using transgender status as a term rather than gender identity.

HHS, however, said this does not make any meaningful distinctions in the protections afforded to transgender people or others who face discrimination based on their gender identity.

Some commenters were also concerned that the HHS proposal would prevent health care professionals from declining gender-affirmation treatments on religious or moral grounds.

HHS, however, said the regulation does not require the provision of any specific services.

Rather, HHS said the regulation seeks to prohibit sex discrimination in general in order to improve health outcomes for the LGBTQI+ community and fulfill the ACA’s statutory mandate to prohibit discrimination and remove barriers not reasonable attention.

Under the rule, HHS will enforce its provisions for health insurance plans that do business through Medicare, Medicaid, or the Obamacare exchanges, including care provided under Medicare Part B, like that of a doctor’s office.

The final rule reverses extremely harmful Trump-era regulations and makes clear that no one should be denied access to health care or health insurance coverage because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. gender, Kellan Baker, executive director of the Whitman-Walker Institute, a research and policy group focused on LGBTQ and other health interests, said in a statement Friday.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, a media watchdog group, said in a statement that the rule will ensure that no one who is LGBTQI or pregnant can face discrimination in accessing essential health care.

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