The decision, which also comes amid the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic, changes Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and will enforce the nondiscrimination clause "by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word 'sex' as male or female and as determined by biology," according to the official statement.
In 2016, former President Barack Obama’s administration extended protections that "prohibited discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities" to include trans people.
The Department of Health and Human Services released its statement in the middle of Pride Month, on the four year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, and on the heels of the murders of two Black transgender women.
The policy shift is set to go into effect by mid-August, but the timing of its finalization makes the announcement even more devastating as it marks the four-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, which claimed the lives of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.
However, the updated regulation has completely reversed the Obama-era rule meaning that it will make it easier for doctors, hospitals, and health insurance companies to deny care or coverage for trans patients without any legal repercussions.
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