The Biden administration on Monday said the United States was restoring health protections for gay and transgender people.
The decision to protect gay and transgender people against discrimination in health care is a reversal of the Trump administration’s policy, which defined “sex” as “gender assigned at birth” and not as what “one identifies with.”
That definition excluded transgender people from receiving some health care benefits, especially when it comes to “sex change.” The Trump administration argued that the government should not pay for someone to “change their biological gender.”
HHS Secretary Xavier Beccera said in a statement that “fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences.”
“Everyone, including LGBTQ people – should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period,” he said, adding that the new policy will bring HHS into line with a landmark Supreme Court decision last year in a workplace discrimination case.
That decision asserted that federal laws against sex discrimination on the job also protect gay and transgender people.
Trump tried to circumvent the Supreme Court decision with new rules that limited protections for transgender people, leading to a federal judge blocking the new rules from taking effect.