The 2016 rule, embedded in the Affordable Care Act, prohibited anti-transgender incrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies, The New York Times reports.
The Trump administration jumped to reverse the rule after one federal judge in Texas declared it unlawful. The administration could have fought the judge's ruling, or worked to modify the Obama rule to bring it into compliance with federal law. Instead, it has opted to reverse it.
The agency leaping to reverse the Obama-era rule protecting transgender people is the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Under Secretary Alex Azar, HHS on Friday moved to reallocate $61 million into abstinence-only programs, after the Obama administration brought teen pregnancy to the lowest levels in history.
The Times notes the judge's ruling came after "eight states, a network of Roman Catholic hospitals and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, representing 19,000 doctors, challenged the Obama-era rule." That judge "temporarily stopped enforcement of the protections for transgender patients, saying that Congress had outlawed discrimination based on sex — 'the biological differences between males and females' — but not transgender status."
Federal appeals courts and federal agencies have ruled that sex discrimination includes discrimination against transgender people.
Almost immediately upon taking office President Trump and his top-level officials have worked to destroy federal protections for members of the LGBT community, especially transgender people. In February of 2017 Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidance that helped schools protect the civil rights of transgender students.
President Trump himself unilaterally declared a total ban on all transgender service members in the U.S. Armed Forces in July of 2017, a policy he created without input from the Pentagon or medical professionals. The Dept. of Justice is still fighting in the courts to enact Trump's plan.
And Secretary DeVos has rescinded a wide variety of protections for minority students. In addition to targeting transgender students, racial minority students have repeatedly suffered under DeVos' leadership, as have the disabled.
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