WASHINGTON, D.C. – While the country is struggling with a deadly pandemic that has had a disastrous impact on marginalized communities and having an important conversation around race and police brutality, the Trump administration has released a final rule that would encourage health care providers to deny medical care – including COVID-19 tests – to LGBTQ people.
“Even as the death toll and catastrophe of the COVID-19 pandemic grows and people take to the streets, the Trump administration remains focused on denying equal access to health care to transgender people,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “The Trump administration has waged a non-stop campaign against transgender people, taking every opportunity to deny us the ability to live our lives as who we are. The new rules released today are hateful and cruel, and will keep people from being able to get the care they need to live happy, healthy and productive lives.”
Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as the Health Care Rights Law, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color national origin, sex, age or disability in health care programs or activities. It is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit discrimination based on sex in health care.
While the Health Care Rights Law remains on the books, the Trump administration’s new rule eliminates clear rules prohibiting discrimination. With the new rules erasing explicit nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, health care providers are being sent the message that they can deny care to LGBTQ people.
NCTE is calling upon health care providers, hospitals, health insurance companies, medical professionals and Congress to reject this hateful rule.