Biden Removes Trump Era Transgender Rule

On Monday, the Department of Health & Human Services said it will safeguard people in healthcare from discrimination, based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, overturning a Trump-era regulation.

The Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services stated it will understand and uphold Section 1557 and Title IX’s bans against any discrimination revolving around gender; this will include unjust or prejudicial treatment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In covered health programs or activities, Section 1557 bans discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, sex, age, or disability.

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The Definitions

The decision confirms that federal statutes prohibiting sex pertaining to healthcare also apply to transgender individuals. The Trump administration government defined sex as the gender assigned at birth, thereby exempting transgender people from the law’s protections.

Fear of rejection can encourage people to skip out on care, which can have major health effects, according to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. The Department of Health Services believes that anyone, especially LGBTQ persons, ought to be able to get healthcare without discrimination or hindrance.

Trump’s HHS completed a regulation in 2020 that repealed Obama-era safeguards for transgender individuals in healthcare from gender discrimination. Gender was redefined as a person’s physical gender in that policy shift; whereas sex was defined as a person’s personal sense of gender, which might be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female in an Obama-era rule.

Under Donald Trump’s plan, institutions and insurance might decline to offer services like abortions and gender reassignment treatments based on religious freedom. However, under an Obama-era constitutional provision, a hospital may be forced to undertake gender-transition surgeries like hysterectomies, if it offered that type of care for other medical concerns.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) warned that discrimination in healthcare has an impact on health outcomes; they cited research that shows one-quarter of LGBTQ people who experienced discrimination delayed or avoided receiving needed medical care for fear of further discrimination.

The Assistant Secretary of Health is Ready To Spend On Transgender Surgeries 

The agency’s objective is to improve the healthcare and wellbeing of all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

To mend a compound fracture, safeguard their cardiovascular health, and test for cancer risk, everyone needs access to healthcare services. Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health, stated that no one should be discriminated against while seeking medical care because of who they are.

According to acting OCR director Robinsue Frohboese, the agency will follow Supreme Court precedent and federal law to guarantee that the statute’s protections are extended to anyone who is discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This Biden executive order, according to Becerra, will bring HHS in keeping with a 2020 ruling which came from the Supreme Court in a case alleging workplace discrimination; this decision recognized that federal rules prohibiting sex discrimination in the workplace also cover gay and trans individuals.