Trump Admin Erases Protections For LGBTQ Patients

Bloomberg Law reports:

The Trump administration has finalized a policy that would remove women seeking abortions and LGBT people from the Affordable Care Act’s non-discrimination protections, the HHS announced Friday.

The regulation would let health-care workers, hospitals, and insurance companies that receive federal funding refuse to provide or cover services such as abortions or transition-related care. This continues the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back protections in health care for LGBT people.

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights sees preserving “religious freedom” as essential to making sure health-care professionals don’t get penalized for the actions they do or don’t do in their jobs because of their moral beliefs.

From the Center for American Progress:

As the death toll from the COVID-19 stretches further past the grim milestone of 100,000 lives lost, the Trump administration published a new rule attempting to give federally funded health programs a license to discriminate in health care and insurance coverage. Doing so on the anniversary of the worst attack on LGBTQ people in the country’s history is particularly abhorrent.

Today’s rule attempts to gut the robust nondiscrimination protections under the Health Care Rights Law, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This move by the administration to undermine anti-discrimination protections in health care for LGBTQ people, women, people with limited English proficiency, people with disabilities, and others, including those who face multiple forms of discrimination, is unconscionable at any time.

The Hill reports:

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 ever; but those rules were blocked by a federal judge in 2016. The Trump administration has worked to weaken the rules before they could take effect.

The Trump administration’s rule is wide-ranging and goes beyond the Obama-era protections by rolling back non-discrimination protections contained in other health provisions as well.