US President Joe Biden salutes before boarding the Marine One helicopter for a planned weekend at Camp David, from the Ellipse at the White House in Washington. It was through his initiative that gay and transgender rights were restored in the area of North American Health (Reuters)
The United States annulled a rule imposed during the Republican government of Donald Trump and will prohibit discrimination against gays and transgenders in the area of health. This will protect them against sex discrimination in health care, the Joe Biden administration announced Monday, reversing a Donald Trump-era policy that sought to reduce the scope of legal rights in sensitive situations involving health care.
The Department of Health and Human Services action states that federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination in health care also protect gay and transgender people. Under Trump’s administration, “sex” had been defined as the gender assigned at birth, thus excluding transgender people from the protection umbrella of the law.RELATED
“Fear of discrimination can lead people to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Everyone, including LGBTQ people, should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”
Becerra said Biden’s policy will align HHS with a landmark Supreme Court decision last year in a workplace discrimination case, which established that federal laws against sex discrimination at work also protect individuals. homosexuals and transgender.
Despite that ruling, the Trump administration proceeded to try to reduce legal protections against discrimination in health care, issuing rules that strictly defined “sex” as biological gender. A federal judge had blocked those rules from taking effect, although officials at the time argued that, as a legal matter, discrimination in health care was a separate issue from the employment case decided by the Supreme Court.
Monday’s action means that the HHS Office for Civil Rights will again investigate complaints of sex discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Hospitals, clinics, and other medical providers can face government penalties for violations of the law.
Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services resolved to reverse a decision by the Donald Trump government on care for gays and transgenders (Reuters)
Biden’s action essentially restores the policy established during the Obama years. The Affordable Care Act included a ban on sex discrimination in health care, and the Obama administration had interpreted it to apply to gay and transgender people as well. It was based on a broad understanding of sex shaped by a person’s inner sense of being male, female, none, or a combination.
Behind the dispute over the rights of transgender people in particular is a medically recognized condition called “gender dysphoria”: discomfort or distress caused by a discrepancy between the gender with which a person identifies and the gender assigned at birth. . The consequences can include severe depression. Treatment can range from gender and hormone confirmation surgery to people who change their outward appearance by adopting a different hairstyle or clothing.
Medical groups and civil rights organizations generally support broader legal protections for gay and transgender people, while social and religious conservatives sought to narrow their scope.
(With information from the Associated Press) .-
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