The Protect Trans Health Campaign marks October 3rd close of public comment period with Week of Action
Washington, D.C. – The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), the Transgender Law Center (TLC), and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF), today mark the impending close of the public comment period on the Biden-Harris Administration’s proposed Health and Human Services (HHS) regulation for Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act by calling for the specific inclusion of language recognizing transgender and non-binary status as a protected identity from discrimination in health care settings. The organizations will be submitting an organizational comment in support of the rule with recommendations that include disclosure of covered entities seeking religious exemptions and clarifying prohibited forms of pregnancy-related discrimination.
The Administration’s proposed regulation contains a stronger definition of what forms of discrimination are barred, including discrimination on the basis of sex, sex characteristics, and sex stereotypes. However, the organization’s comment will include that the added and specific inclusion of transgender and non-binary status would further solidify the nondiscrimination provision for transgender and non-binary people who are either seeking medically necessary care or obtaining health insurance coverage. Additional language would also enable a clearer pathway for individuals to report incidents of discrimination.
Additionally, the joint comment will recommend for HHS to work with other major federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, to extend the protections outlined in the proposed regulation to other non-health programs and activities through a separate rulemaking process.
"This rulemaking is urgently needed,” said C.P. Hoffman, senior policy counsel at the National Center for Transgender Equality. “Transgender and nonbinary people face rampant, concerted, and escalating attacks on our self-determination, bodily autonomy, and human dignity across the United States. We are human beings, not political pawns, and we demand the right to seek and obtain best-practice health care, free from discrimination, just like everyone else."
The #ProtectTransHealth campaign is urging transgender and non-binary people, health care providers, people of faith, family members, and loved ones to submit comments before the comment period ends on Monday, October 3, 2022. To further amplify the campaign, #ProtectTransHealth has organized a Week of Action including a series of live events:
- Tuesday, September 27 at 7 p.m. ET: Protect Trans Health! Presents Live with Providers for Trans Justice in Health Care;
- Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. ET: Protect Trans Health Live! Presents Families for Trans Rights; and
- Thursday, September 29 at 7 p.m. ET: Protect Trans Health Live! Presents Faith Leaders for Trans Rights
In light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the joint comment submitted by NCTE and TLC will call for additional language to be added to the proposed rule clarifying that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy termination. The increasing threat of state bans attempting to criminalize gender affirming medical care and abortion by certain lawmakers have strengthened bonds between transgender and abortion advocates who both recognize the throughline between these two issues and the concerted effort to restrict or altogether eliminate bodily autonomy and self-determination among transgender and non-binary people, women, low-income people, Black, Indigenous, people of color, disabled communities, and people living with HIV.
On Monday, October 3rd, the #ProtectTransHealth campaign will host two live digital events. On Instagram, Transgender Law Center will be joined by triathlete Chris Mosier in a race to the #ProtectTransHealth finish line and NCTE will be joined on Facebook by a number of guests to give the public a final reminder to submit their comments to ProtectTransHealth.org.
The #ProtectTransHealth campaign urges the public to support the proposed Biden administration Health and Human Services (HHS) regulation announced on July 25 that intends to protect transgender and non-binary people from discrimination in accessing healthcare.
The proposed regulation provides that discrimination on the basis of sex “includes, but is not limited to, discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes; sex characteristics, including intersex traits; pregnancy or related conditions.” Additional guidance issued by HHS also notes that denials of health care based on gender identity are illegal, as is restricting doctors and health care providers from providing care because of a patient’s gender identity.
The public comment period closes on October 3rd.
The National Center for Transgender Equality advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice. NCTE envisions a society in which transgender people not only survive, but thrive.
Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.
The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender and nonbinary people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts.