Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Suit Challenges Roll-Back of Health Care Protections For Transgender Individuals

Suit was filed yesterday in the D.C. federal district court challenging the Trump Administration's recent rule change that rolled back health care anti-discrimination protection for transgender individuals. The complaint (full text) in Whitman-Walker Clinic, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (D DC, filed 6/22/2020) alleges in part:
[T]he Revised Rule imports broad and sweeping exemptions for discrimination based on personal religious or moral beliefs from the identified statutes in Section 1557 [of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] and other statutes, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ... which Section 1557 does not reference. These exemptions invite individual health care providers, health care entities, and insurers across the country to opt out of treating patients, including many transgender patients, if they believe doing so would compromise their faith....
HHS’s attempt to create new religious exemptions in Section 1557 is contrary to law and endangers patients’ health in the name of advancing the religious beliefs of those who are entrusted with caring for them—a result sharply at odds with HHS’s stated mission to “enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans” and to “provid[e] for effective health and human services.”
 The Hill reports on the filing of the lawsuit.