Biden administration strengthens healthcare protections for gay and transgender people – Washington Examiner

transgender And gay people will now be protected from discrimination Health care thanks to biden The administration is reversing a Trump-era rule that had rolled back protections.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, expanding the prohibition of sex discrimination to also include sexual orientation and gender identity. Under the Trump administration, the ACA prohibited discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability, but the definition of sex was expanded to mean only “biological sex.”

“Today’s ruling is a huge step toward a more equitable and inclusive health care system for this country, and it means Americans across the country now have a clear way to take action on their rights against discrimination when They go to the doctor, talk with their health plan, or connect with health programs run by HHS,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “I am so proud that our Office for Civil Rights stands up against discrimination, no matter who you are, who you love, your faith, or where you live. “Once again, we are reminding Americans that we are with you.”

The new decision comes as 24 states have enacted laws that ban or restrict gender reassignment procedures for children. Advocates for transgender people feared that previous policies under the Trump administration had made it easier for hospitals, doctors and insurance companies to deny care or coverage to transgender patients.

“Section 1557 is critical to ensuring that people in all communities have the right to receive health care free from discrimination,” said Melanie Fontes Renner, Director of the Office for Civil Rights. “Today’s ruling exemplifies the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to health equity and patient rights.”

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The Biden administration reiterated that protections for religious freedom and conscience still apply, meaning healthcare providers will not be penalized if they refuse to engage in a process that conflicts with “sincerely held beliefs.” Does it.

The new decision also found that Medicare Part B payments will be considered a form of federal financial assistance. It ensures that health care providers receiving Part B funds are “prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, and disability.”