New York City – On May 24th, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled its proposed regulation to roll back regulations issued during the Obama administration that clarified that, pursuant to federal law, the sex discrimination protections of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) forbid discrimination against LGBT people. The proposed regulations would carve out LGBT people from the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination protections, and purport to permit health care workers, doctors, hospitals, and health insurance companies that receive federal funding to refuse to provide or cover health care services critical to the health and well-being of LGBT people, such as transition-related and reproductive care. The proposed regulations also seek to permit, yet again, health care entities and workers to be able to deny insurance or care to LGBT patients or policy holders because of personal, religious, or moral beliefs, endangering the lives of LGBT people.
Lambda Legal Litigation Director Diana Flynn released the following statement: “Yet again, the Trump administration strives to harm LGBT people, this time by rolling back crucial health care protections for LGBT people and other vulnerable persons. By repealing a regulation clarifying that LGBT people are protected against health care discrimination under the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provisions, the Trump administration seeks to deny life-saving health care to LGBT people and others and replaces these critical protections with a narrow definition of sex not grounded in science or the law.
“The Trump-Pence administration’s targeting of the LGBT community is unmistakable and unconscionable. HHS should be in the business of ensuring that people get the health care they need, not providing excuses for providers and insurers to turn people away… . This latest assault on our rights will not go unchallenged. Anyone who experiences mistreatment in health care services based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status should contact our Legal Help Desk to discuss their potential legal options… . Today’s announcement from HHS is not the last word – Lambda Legal will use every tool in our arsenal to defend LGBT people from the kind of discrimination that this proposal intends to unleash.” (Seattle Gay News – Courtesy of Lambda Legal at Sgn.org/sgnnews47_22/page1.cfm)