Protect Trans People From Healthcare Discrimination

Target: US Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra

Goal: Fully restore healthcare discrimination protections for transgender individuals.

In 2020 the Trump administration issued a final ruling on Section 1557 in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which helped protect transgender individuals from healthcare discrimination. Section 1557 barred healthcare discrimination on the basis of “race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.” The Trump ruling altered the Obama administrations definition of ‘sex’ so it no longer explicitly included gender identity.

The Biden administration has reported it will interpret ‘sex’ in Section 1557 to include discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity. This is an important change from the Trump 2020 rule change, however, without formalizing this interpretation into Section 1557 the Trump rule change will remain problematic. Additionally, this move by the Biden administration does not, as Health Affairs writes, “provide detail or additional guidance on what it means not to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” In contrast, as also noted in Health Affairs, the 2016 Obama rule specifies healthcare providers cannot “categorically exclude services related to gender transition or deny coverage based on sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or gender.”

The current steps of the Biden administration and the HHS Department do not go far enough to protect trans folks from healthcare discrimination. Sign this petition to demand that the current HHS Secretary works to formalize the Biden interpretation of ‘sex’ in the ACA’s Section 1557 and to also establish clear and explicit guidance on what discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity would include.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Becerra,

The Department of Health and Human Services has not done enough to reverse the harmful effects of the Trump Administrations 2020 change to the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1557.

Yes, the Biden administration has reported it will interpret the ‘sex’ in Section 1557 to include discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity. However, until this interpretation of ‘sex’ is once again formally included in the ACA’s Section 1557 the protections against healthcare discrimination for trans people is uncertain and may not continue past the Biden administration.

It is also critical that the HHS Department explicitly provide guidance on what discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity would look like. The 2016 Obama rule explicitly specified what this discrimination would look like, and thus offered stronger protections for trans folks.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan


2 Comments

  1. They need to stop crying

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