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Donald Trump administration rolls back Obama-era Health Care Protections for transgenders

News Agencies | Updated on: 13 June 2020, 7:19 IST
Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump administration on Friday finalised a regulation that overturns Obama-era Health Care Protections for transgender people against discrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies.

According to the New York Times, the rule similar to a proposed version released last year is part of the broad efforts by the Trump administration across multiple areas of policy to narrow the legal definition of discrimination so that it does not include protections for transgender people in health care.

The Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law often known as Obamacare, established broad civil rights protections in health care. It was aimed at barring discrimination based on race, colour, national origin, sex, age or disability in "any health program or activity" that receives federal financial assistance.

In a statement, the US Department of Health and Human Services said that it was eliminating "certain provisions of the 2016 Rule that exceeded the scope of the authority delegated by Congress in Section 1557. HHS will enforce Section 1557 by returning to the government's interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word 'sex' as male or female and as determined by biology."

"The 2016 Rule declined to recognize sexual orientation as a protected category under the ACA, and HHS will leave that judgment undisturbed," HHS said.

In plain speak, it means that the Trump administration's regulation defines gender as a person's biological sex. Whereas under the Obama administration gender was defined as a person's internal sense of being male, female, neither or a combination.

Several LGBTQ rights groups immediately condemned the change, and The Human Rights Campaign said it plans to mount a legal challenge, CNN reported

"We cannot and will not allow Donald Trump to continue attacking us. Today, the Human Rights Campaign is announcing plans to sue the Trump administration for exceeding their legal authority and attempting to remove basic health care protections from vulnerable communities including LGBTQ people," Alphonso David, the group's president, said in a statement.


First published: 13 June 2020, 7:17 IST