Biden Administration Bans Sex Discrimination Against LGBTQ+ People In Healthcare

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The Biden administration announced that the United States will ban sex discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in healthcare. The reversal of a Trump administration policy means that federal laws banning sex discrimination in healthcare will also protect LGBTQ+ people.

The Trump administration had defined sex as the gender assigned at birth, which excluded transgender people from protection against sex discrimination. The legal protections against healthcare discrimination were narrowed by the rules that defined sex as biological gender.

A federal judge stopped the enforcement of the new regulation. Judge Frederic Block believed that the new regulation is invalid after the Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ+ people will be protected from job discrimination. It ruled that the existing federal laws ban job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Department of Health and Human Services secretary Xavier Becerra said that “Everyone – including LGBTQ people – should be able to access healthcare, free from discrimination or interference.”

The Biden administration’s decision restored the policy that was implemented by the Obama administration. The Affordable Care Act prohibited sex discrimination in healthcare, and the administration had interpreted that to apply to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Health and Human Services (HSS) Office for Civil Rights will now investigate complaints of sex discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Hospitals and medical providers that receive federal funding will be barred from discrimination.

In a statement, Xavier Becerra said that “The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. That’s why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination.”

The HSS stated that 25 per cent of LGBTQ+ people that dealt with discrimination avoided or postponed necessary medical care due to their fear of further discrimination.