The Trump administration on Friday finalized a regulation that overturns Obama-era policies on health care for transgender people.
The policy shift defines gender as a person’s biological sex.
The Obama regulation defined gender as a person’s internal sense of being male, female, neither or a combination.
Under the Obama-era federal rule, a hospital could be required to perform gender-transition procedures such as hysterectomies.
The rule was meant to carry out the anti-discrimination section of the Affordable Care Act, which bars sex discrimination in health care.
LGBT groups say explicit protections are needed for people seeking sex-reassignment treatment and for transgender people who need medical care for common conditions.
Women’s groups say the new regulations also restrict access to abortion.
“No one should fear being turned away by a medical provider because of who they are or the personal health decisions they have made,” said Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women’s Law Center.
The ACLU has said it would sue to overturn the new rule.
Roger Severino, head of the Health and Human Services Department unit that enforces civil rights laws, has said transgender people continue to be protected by other statutes that bar discrimination in health care on account of race, color, national origin, age, disability and other factors.
The proposed new rule would also affect the notices that patients get in multiple languages about their rights to translation services.
Such notices often come with insurer “explanation of benefits” forms.
The Trump administration says the notice requirement has become a needless burden on health care providers, requiring billions of paper notices to be mailed annually at an estimated five-year cost of $3.2 billion.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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