WASHINGTON D.C. — (06-12-20) — The Trump administration said that they will end LGBTQ protections that ObamaCare’s nondiscrimination protections for sex and gender identity under a final rule released Friday.
In a statement provided to JRL CHARTS, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination will be based on “the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”
According to HHS, the new anti-LGBTQ policy makes clear that “the substantive protections prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, and sex remain in effect.”
“HHS respects the dignity of every human being, and as we have shown in our response to the pandemic, we vigorously protect and enforce the civil rights of all to the fullest extent permitted by our laws as passed by Congress,” said Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights.
Sources inside the Trump administration said that the announcement was purposely made during PRIDE Month. This is a major victory for religious providers who lobbied the Trump administration to reinforce their right not to provide treatment that goes against their beliefs.
The administration has been working on the rule for well over a year, according to HHS.
Health groups said this reversal by president Trump will make it easier for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to deny care or coverage to transgender and nonbinary patients, as well as women who have had abortions.
The administration has argued that removing the protections, based on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, is largely moot because of a federal judge in Texas vacated much of the rule last year.
The Obama-era rule made it illegal for doctors, hospitals and other health care workers to deny care to someone whose sexual orientation or gender identity they disapproved of.
The Obama administration did this by expanding the health law’s definition of sex discrimination to include gender identity for the first time. Only to be blocked by a federal judge with a record of being against same-sex marriage and who considers LGBTQ civil rights, special rights.
The Trump administration has worked to weaken the rules before they could take effect.
LGBTQ advocates and Democratic lawmakers said the decision to move ahead with the latest attack on LGBTQ rights and protections in the middle of a pandemic is especially cruel.
By this action taken by Trump and his anti-LGBTQ regime, LGBTQ patients may not be able to access the care they need.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already impacted access to medical treatment, as almost all “nonessential” procedures were halted, people stopped going to the emergency room and even stopped giving their children needed vaccines.
“At a time when protecting communities from the COVID-19 pandemic is paramount, your Department and the Trump Administration are knowingly putting the health and wellbeing of vulnerable individuals and children at risk, while blatantly promoting discrimination against LGBTQIA+ communities and religious minorities by pursuing the finalization of this proposed rule,” Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
The Human Rights Campaign immediately condemned the action and have announced they will file a lawsuit to overturn the rule.
This is also another gut punch as this action is taking place on the anniversary of the Pulse shooting, where a gunman killed 49 people in an LGBTQ nightclub.
President Trump and vice president Mike Pence were praised by religious conservatives and anti-abortion groups.
If you would like to let Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights know your opinion of their decision, visit @HHSGov on Twitter.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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