It’s About To Get A Lot Harder For Transgender People To Access Health Care

By Jeff Taylor

The Trump administration is planning to repeal Obama-era regulations that prevent doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people.

Guidelines implemented in 2016 as part of the Affordable Care Act prohibit discrimination based on race, age, color, national origin, sex, or disability for health programs that received federal funds. Under Obama, the Department of Health and Human Services defined Section 1557 of the ACA, which covers sex discrimination, as also including bias based on gender identity. That determination affected nearly every physician and hospital in the U.S., since most accept some form of federal money, be it Medicare, Medicaid, or participation in health insurance marketplaces.

Groups like the Christian Medical and Dental Associations say Section 1557 pressures doctors to violates their religious freedom and independent medical judgment. But overturning those guidelines could leave transgender Americans unable to access hormone replacement therapy, counseling and gender-confirmation surgery, if a healthcare provider decided to turn them away.

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