Transgender Patients May Be At Risk Of Discrimination
Transgenders all over the United States, as well as those who simply identify with the cause in support of the LGBTQ community, celebrated heavily when the Obama administration passed laws to support transgenders.
They were not allowed to be discriminated against within the medical community, ensuring that they would get the care that they need.
There have been some new changes within the Trump administration, potentially leaving transgender patients vulnerable to discrimination.
Many are up in arms, complaining that they won’t get the care that they need. However, it’s important to take a look at what really passed and what it means for those who are transgender.
What the Department of Health and Human Services is Proposing
The Department is seeking to address some of the overbroad interpretations that are taking place. Essentially, they are looking to reduce some of the unjustified burdens that Section 1557 caused as well as cut out some of the confusion.
Roger Severino, the head of HHS’ civil rights office said that they are making their regulations conform. He argues that the rules don’t actually change everything.
It accomplishes the protection of civil rights while also being faithful to the full extent of the law.
Section 1557 and Its Problems
Part of the Affordable Care Act contains Section 1557. It prohibits people from being discriminated against based on their race, age, color, sex, or disability in certain activities and health programs.
A rule that was enacted in 2016 also interpreted the ban on sexual discrimination to also include discriminating against gender identity.
Since the 2016 rule was released, it has caused a number of problems because of the ‘gender identity’ aspect.
One federal judge in Texas even issued an injunction regarding the termination of pregnancy provisions and to stop protecting transgender individuals.
Why is Trump receiving heat?
While the Democrats love to hate Trump for any reason that they can find, much of this comes from not truly looking at what the Health and Human Services Department is trying to accomplish.
One example is how, supposedly, Trump is banning transgender recruits from joining the military. This is not exactly true.
The Department of Defense has issued a policy that identifies that the military is not going to pay for the costs involved for a troop to transition from one gender to another. They are being asked to serve in their birth gender.
If someone is diagnosed with gender dysphoria, they cannot serve in the military. Much of this is because the hormones that they have to take will prevent them from being able to serve in the military within the same capacity that a person who is not transgender can perform.
The military is not subject to discrimination laws. It is in the best interest of the government and protecting America that they do discriminate and determine who is mentally and physically fit to serve. Someone who is taking gender hormones cannot reasonably fill their duties.
Trump is also receiving heat because it appears as though he is taking rights away from the transgender community.
However, in favor of equality, it is not fair to treat any one demographic differently than another.
As such, as Severino explains, the government is committed to fully enforcing civil rights laws.
Any regulations that could contradict a law or raise the costs of healthcare need to be eliminated – and the regulations that Obama put into place have caused a significant amount of contradiction and raise the costs of healthcare.
Is care being denied?
Louise Melling, who is the deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, is concerned that lifting the protection of discrimination can have a devastating consequence on the health of transgender and binary individuals.
It is possible that transgenders can be denied medically necessary healthcare as it pertains to their gender transition.
However, everyone has a choice. They can choose to transition genders or not. Many within the medical industry believe that going through a gender transition is similar in nature to cosmetic surgery.
It is desirable but not medically required. Many insurance programs won’t pay for surgeries regarding nose jobs or breast implants, so it’s not surprising that they won’t pay to help a man transition to a woman or vice versa.
There are federal and state laws that protect everyone, regardless of whether they are male or female now and what their gender was at birth.
If someone needs a prostate exam, they will be able to get it. If a provider recommends gynecological care, it cannot be denied.
Much of the discrimination comes from not understanding the laws and having poorly written regulations to begin with.
Further, there is a lot to be decided upon what “medically necessary” means, especially as it pertains to transgender and binary individuals.