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Trump administration wipes out transgender health protection brought in by President Obama

by Erin Lindsay
13th Jun 2020

The changes to the Affordable Care Act were finalised yesterday

The Trump administration in the U.S have brought in changes to their Affordable Care Act, that wipe out protections for transgender patients seeking healthcare.

The changes have removed nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ patients, which were brought in under the Obama administration. The move means that sources of healthcare and health insurance policies can discriminate against a patient based on their gender identity.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement “it would recognize ‘sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology'”, reported MSNBC.

The changes were announced during Pride Month, as well as on the 4th anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, where 49 people were killed and 53 injured by a rogue shooter in a gay nightclub in Florida.

The announcement has been met with anger from many, including LGBTQ+ charities and politicians alike. GLAAD, a LGBTQ+ media monitoring organisation in the U.S, said in a statement: “This ruling encourages discrimination by stripping protections from LGBTQ people, disabled people, and others during a pandemic that threatens the most vulnerable. It is shameful, unnecessary and unfortunately unsurprising”.

Former Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders also spoke out against the changes. Warren said on Twitter: “This is hateful and wrong. Trump must protect LGBTQ+ rights, and if he won’t, the Senate must act.” Sanders wrote: “It is outrageous that Trump, in the middle of a pandemic, is working to prevent LGBTQ+ Americans from getting health care they need. Discrimination of any kind has no place in our society.”

The changes are set to come into effect from August of this year.

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