The New York Times: Health Care Rules Proposed to Shield Transgender Patients From Bias

The New York Times: Health Care Rules Proposed to Shield Transgender Patients From Bias

By Abby Goodnough and Margot Sanger-Katz

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration proposed a rule Thursday that would forbid most health insurers and medical providers to discriminate against transgender patients, including by prohibiting insurers from categorically denying coverage of care related to gender transition.

Mara Youdelman, a lawyer with the National Health Law Program, added that, for example, someone who was born female, identifies as a transgender male but has not had gender reassignment surgery, might be denied insurance coverage for a Pap smear without the proposed rule.

“There was nothing to prohibit the exclusion of those services by an insurer,” Ms. Youdelman said.

Ms. Youdelman said the proposed rule was significant because it “puts the meat on the bone” of a provision that for the first time prohibits sex discrimination in health care. For the other groups protected under the provision, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, it merely

“reiterates longstanding prohibitions” on discrimination that other laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, already provide. “For the first time, you can’t discriminate in health care because of someone’s sex,” she said. “And the regulation that we got today greatly elucidates what’s expected.” Read the full article here. »

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