Affordable Care Act includes transgender protections

Tue. August 7, 2012 9:22 AM by

kathleen sebelius

Washington, DC - The Affordable Care Act (ACA), often referred to as Obamacare, bars health care discrimination against transgender people, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a memo released earlier this month.

HHS's memo came in response to a letter submitted by several gay rights groups to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. It confirms that the ACA's protections which prohibit discrimination based on sex include discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

"Transgender people face severe discrimination in healthcare settings and are often denied care completely," Maya Rupert, federal policy director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), said in a statement. "This announcement affirms that all patients in federally funded health care settings must be treated equally and may not be denied care simply because of who they are. We are grateful to HHS for clarifying this important policy and providing transgender people with the security of knowing they are included in the administration's commitment to the health and well-being of all Americans."

The ACA's protections extend to all healthcare facilities and programs which receive federal funds.

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