Congressmembers Warn Trump Administration Against Rolling Back Transgender Healthcare ProtectionsBy James Gherardi • May 29, 2018 • 3:04 pm
A group of more than 100 congressional lawmakers last week were the latest to speak out against the Trump Administration’s plans to roll back key healthcare regulations protecting transgender Americans.
In 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a rule clarifying that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibited the denial of health care or coverage to transgender people. The Trump Administration, however, has signaled its intent to roll back that rule. The letter was sent to Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, urging him to scrap the plans and warning that any such rollbacks imperil the health and safety of transgender Americans.
Research has shown that a fear of discrimination in health care settings fundamentally impacts the ability of transgender people to seek out and receive timely and necessary care. A survey by the Center for American Progress found that nearly 25 percent of transgender respondents avoided doctors’ offices in the past year out of fear of facing discrimination. The survey concluded that a strong enforcement of the ACA’s nondiscrimination protections reassures transgender Americans that they will not be refused treatment.
Regardless of the proposed rule that may emerge from the Trump Administration in the coming weeks, 1557 and the ACA remain the law of the land – the administration’s actions will, however, make it easier to discriminate against transgender people in health care settings – and can weaken the options for recourse should someone face discrimination.
Such a discriminatory move would not be unexpected for this administration – since taking office, the Trump-Pence administration has moved quickly to undermine existing protections for LGBTQ people. Here are just a few of the anti-LGBTQ moves the administration has made since 2017:
- Attempt to ban transgender people from serving openly
- Roll back voluntary guidelines that ensure transgender youth are treated with dignity in school
- Establish a division of HHS aimed at greenlighting refusals of care
- Side with a bakery that refused to sell a same-sex couple a wedding cake – in violation of state law
This move is just the latest for what has been an administration that has prided itself on repealing protections for and discriminating against LGBTQ Americans. Transgender people in particular have received the brunt of this administration’s assault – from the trans military ban, to the Department of Education rolling back protections for transgender students – transgender Americans are facing a new fight seemingly every day.
The Trump Administration has proven itself to be aggressively aimed at rolling back protections for LGBTQ Americans. FFAA is committed to defending and advancing nondiscrimination protections for all Americans, even during these challenging times. We’ll continue to share the stories of LGBTQ Americans who face discrimination in the daily lives – so more Americans can come to understand the urgency and importance of securing comprehensive nondiscrimination protections.