Back in October 2019 the Trump Administration was first reportedly considering re-defining gender as “an unchangeable condition determined solely by a person’s biology.” On Friday, June 12, President Donald Trump celebrated Pride Month by announcing plans to revoke Obamacare regulations enacted back in 2016 meant to protect the transgender community. And, pretty much anyone pro-choice. Happy Pride Month!…wow, it’s been a rough year.
Known as the Health Care Rights Law, effective July 18, 2016, Section 1557 of the Affordable Health Care Act “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities.”
This law includes the “on the basis of sex” discrimination to include discrimination against “termination of pregnancy and gender identity.” During the Obama era, gender identity was officially defined as “male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Repeal of Section 1557 is a major regression. Reverting back to an outdated binary could easily deny transgender and non-binary individuals access to healthcare. More than a Health Care Rights Law, it is a Human Rights Law — one that’s actually been updated to reflect modern times. After all, access to healthcare is a human right.
According to Director of the Office for Civil Rights at HHS Roger Severino, reverting back to the outdated binary could save the healthcare field over $2.9 billion over the course of five years in printing fees. Severino also released the statement claiming, “HHS respects the dignity of every human being.”
So like: does the HHS not consider transgender and non-binary individuals human beings? Did they ever? Are they just a spineless institution made to appease whoever’s in office? That’s the vibe I’m getting. What do you think?
Can the HHS think for itself?