The Trump administration has finalized a regulation that overturns Obama-era protections for transgender people against sex discrimination in health care. Friday’s action is certain to be challenged in court by LGBTQ groups and others.
The policy shift, long-sought by the president’s religious and socially conservative supporters, defines gender as a person’s biological sex. The Obama regulation defined gender as a person’s internal sense of being male, female, neither, or a combination.
The Trump administration said that the new rules come with a $2.9 billion budget reduction over the course of five years. The costs are associated with enforcement efforts.
“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. We are unwavering in our commitment to enforcing civil rights in healthcare,” Roger Severino, Director of the Office for Civil Rights at HHS.
The Human Rights Campaign already announced it will sue the Trump Administration to stop the move.
“We cannot and will not allow Donald Trump to continue attacking us. Today, the Human Rights Campaign is announcing plans to sue the Trump administration for exceeding their legal authority and attempting to remove basic health care protections from vulnerable communities including LGBTQ people. And, to add insult to injury, the administration finalized this rule on the anniversary of the Pulse shooting, where a gunman killed 49 people in an LGBTQ nightclub,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “LGBTQ people get sick. LGBTQ people need health care. LGBTQ people should not live in fear that they cannot get the care they need simply because of who they are. It is clear that this administration does not believe that LGBTQ people, or other marginalized communities, deserve equality under the law.