White House revives LGBT civil rights for healthcare

Wed. May 12, 2021 8:47 AM by Gerald Farinas

Xavier Becerra, Health and Human Services Secretary announced the White House will ensure that protections against sexual discrimination in the Affordable Care Act—popularly known as Obamacare—will be fulfilled.

“You should not discriminate against people. That includes those based on sexual orientation or gender identity. And when it comes to healthcare, we want to make sure that's the case,” Becerra told CNN on Monday.

The policy is in direct support of women, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.

With Republican support in Congress and state legislatures, the Trump Administration dumped the protections in June 2020.

Republicans argued that service providers affiliated with faith-based organizations had a right to discriminate against persons who wanted services they did not want to fulfill—like a woman's right to choose her own healthcare needs, and medical interventions that would fulfill gender identity needs.

Becerra cited a June 15, 2020 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that stated equal treatment under the law based on sex explicitly includes LGBT persons.

The majority decision was written by Trump-appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Bush-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts, and the four liberal justices.

The American Medical Association applauded Becerra's announcement in light of several states legislating anti-transgender laws related to participation in sports and making it harder for transgender persons to transition.

Just last week, the AMA demanded that Republican governors and state legislatures “stop interfering with in the healthcare of transgender children.”

“Decisions about medical care belong within the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship,” the AMA wrote to the National Governors' Association.

“We believe it is inappropriate and harmful for any state to legislatively dictate that certain transition-related services are never appropriate and limit the range of options physicians and families may consider when making decisions for pediatric patients.”