Administration set to push back transgender health protections

(Photo by Zackary Drucker as part of Broadly's Gender Spectrum Collection)
(Photo by Zackary Drucker as part of Broadly’s Gender Spectrum Collection)

WASHINGTON — A proposed rule would make it easier for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to deny care or coverage to transgender patients, The Hill reported on Tuesday.

The website that the new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is expected in the coming days.

This is on top of the ban on transgender people serving in the military earlier this month. In October, the administration started looking at considering defining gender as biological condition determined by genitalia at birth.

From The Hill:

The administration hinted in a recent court filing that new health regulations could be published as soon as next week. The rule is expected to weaken or eliminate an anti-discrimination provision enshrined in ObamaCare.

The provision says patients cannot be turned away because they are transgender, nor can they be denied coverage if they need a service that’s related to their transgender status.

Religious providers say they expect the administration’s rule to reinforce their right not to provide treatment that is against their beliefs.

Advocates, meanwhile, say they are concerned that the proposal could jeopardize the gains made in making sure transgender individuals receive equal access to care.

The proposal is “likely to send an even stronger signal that the administration endorses discrimination in health care against transgender people,” said Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality.

The rule “won’t mean that overnight transgender people can’t get health care, but it will be a steady drip of allowing more discrimination,” Tobin said.