The Biden administration announced on Monday that healthcare providers can’t discriminate against trans patients, a move to roll-back Trump-era policies that claimed the opposite.
The New York Times reports on the new policy from the Department of Health and Human Services, which explicitly does not allow organizations that receive federal funding to discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Previously, the Trump administration tried to narrow the legal definition of healthcare discrimination, attempting to define “sex” as gender assigned at birth so as to ensure that the ACA’s anti-discrimination provisions did not apply to trans people. Now those provisions will be interpreted to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone — including L.G.B.T.Q. people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period,” Biden’s health secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
Though this policy is one step for the Biden administration to affirm the reality of discrimination in healthcare for trans people, a number of bills across the country have been introduced in the last year in an attempt to severely roll back protections for their rights. The Human Rights Campaign reported that 2021 is the worst year on record for anti-LGBTQ legislation, with many of the bills targeting the participation of trans athletes in school sports and a vile, recently passed bill in Arkansas that bans gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth.