May 10, 2021
BY: Nathaniel BALLANTYNE
TRUENEWSBLOG- Gay and transgender people will be protected against sex discrimination in healthcare, the U.S. health secretary said on Monday, as President Joe Biden’s administration reversed a policy put in place under his predecessor Donald Trump.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said the action restores protections under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, against sexual discrimination in healthcare.
“It simply says what everyone already should know: You should not discriminate against people,” Becerra told CNN. “That includes those based on sexual orientation or gender identity and when it comes to healthcare – we want to make sure that’s the case.”
The new policy represents a reversal of a reversal. The HHS under Trump in June 2020 issued a rule that lifted some anti-discrimination protections under Obamacare, a law signed by former President Barack Obama in 2010.
In 2016, the Obama administration introduced rules that made clear that LGBT people would be protected under the federal healthcare discrimination provision. The Trump-era rule reversed those provisions of the law that extended civil rights protections in healthcare to cover areas including gender identity and abortion. “So now it’s clear, there’s no ambiguity: You cannot discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” Becerra added.
HHS said in a statement on Monday that its Office for Civil Rights made the decision in light of a June 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling and subsequent court decisions.
The Supreme Court last year delivered a watershed victory for LGBT rights and a defeat for Trump’s administration, ruling that a longstanding federal law barring workplace discrimination protects gay and transgender employees.
“The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation,” Becerra said in the statement.