Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Reversing Protections

Roger Severino, director of the HHS
 Office for Civil Rights
Trump Administration Proposes Rule To Reverse Protections For Transgender Patients

From NPR May 24, 2019
By Alison Kodjak and Camel Worth

The federal Department of Health and Human Services is proposing to roll back an Obama-era policy intended to protect transgender people from discrimination in health care.

Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said the proposed rule, released Friday, would revise protections put into place in 2016 as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that defined discrimination "on the basis of sex" to include gender identity. Gender identity was interpreted as one's "internal sense of being male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female."

Severino said at a press briefing: “We have concluded in our most recent filing with the court that discrimination on the basis of sex does not cover gender identity.

Jocelyn Samuels, the former head of HHS's Office for Civil Rights, says that the 2016 policy defining sex to include gender identity was based on how the courts had treated sex discrimination laws in education and employment.

Samuels says the new proposed rule is "extraordinarily damaging" to transgender people.  The Administration has taken the position that there is no federal remedy for gender identity discrimination in employment, in education, in homeless shelters and now has proposed to take that position in the health care context as well."

The Human Rights Campaign says fear of discrimination causes many LGBTQ people to avoid seeking medical care. The group cites studies that show that 70 percent of transgender patients say they have experienced discrimination in a health care setting.  

Read the whole article for additional information... 


Personal Note: Prior to ACA, I was turned down by a Doctor and was told that under no circumstances would she accept me as a patient. Although she was under my company insurance plan, I had already paid the co-pay and was sitting in her exam room. We are now returning to those times?  

This administration, under Trump and Pence, continues to erode our rights and protections.            

Documentary "Southern Comfort"
If you have not seen the documentary "Southern Comfort" it chronicles the final year in the life of Robert Eads, a transgender man. Eads, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, was turned down for treatment by two dozen doctors out of fear that treating such a patient would hurt their reputations. By the time Eads received treatment, the cancer was too advanced to save his life. Filmmaker Kate Davis follows Robert and a group of transgender Southerners in this captivating and truly touching documentary. IMDb  

I knew Robert from attending SCC. 

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