Friday, the Trump administration finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance.
What We Know:
- The Obama administration released the Trans act in 2016. The act was to be governed under sector 1557 of the affordable cares act which states, “it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities.” With the introduction of the Obama-era act, it was further established that “sex” was to be defined as those included under male, female, neither, or a combination of both sexes.
- In June of 2019 under the Trump administration, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule that would reverse the Obama cares act. Roger Severino, the director of Civil Rights in the HHS stated, “We’re going back to the plain meaning of those terms, which is based on biological sex.” Severino also expressed that the health care system was not responsible for those in need of trans services. Severino further claimed that excluding those services would save the health care system 2.9 billion.
- Supporters of the Obama care act stated that its removal would bring about confusion on “sex discrimination.” The new rules passing is ironically in the midst of an ongoing investigation of the murders of two transgendered women, 25-year old Riah Milton in Ohio and 27-year old Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells. Many critics say the removal in a time where discriminatory tensions are high, could lead to further harm of transgender groups.
i love how rich people act like there’s no correlation between the wealth they hoard & the lack of access black women and trans ppl have for protection and the ability to survive with resources to better our lives
— christian azula (@godaimesophia) June 15, 2020
As we grieve the murders of Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells and Riah Milton, @realDonaldTrump is leading a direct attack on the lives of trans Americans everywhere. Trans rights are humans rights. Those are rights that will ALWAYS be upheld in New York City.https://t.co/TC0tGOAUUz
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 13, 2020
- In spite of many wanting Trump’s administration to reconsider, the removal of the act was finalized on June 12, 2020. The final rule would allow health care facilities to refuse treatment of transgendered individuals. Other possibilities include no insurance coverage or cost increase for ovarian cancer, and hysterectomy treatments for transgendered women. In addition to transgendered specific treatments, many critics believe that trans men and women who are already reluctant to seek medical care, will in fear avoid seeking coronavirus testing and treatment. Many LGBTQ groups have threatened to sue the Trump administration claiming that the new rule was “uncivil.”
- Now that the final rule is out, democrats have strongly voiced their disdain for the new rule, Democratic speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement that read, “The Administration must immediately abandon this outrageous, un-American plan and give LGBTQ individuals the reassurance that they will never be denied the health care they or their families need.”
- Congress does have the ability to refuse the new rule under the Congressional review act. This would entail congress having to be in session within the next 60 days, Trump was no longer president, or majorities in both chambers of Congress voted to block the rule. But the fact that Congress typically goes in recess during August, and the impacts of COVID-19, chances for victory are slim.
Unless major controversy or lawsuits unfold soon the new rule is set to go into effect in the next 60 days.