Washington – The Trump administration issued a new rule that will harm the health and well-being of low-income women and LGBTQ individuals and families. Trump’s latest regulation expands current refusal laws, allowing providers and institutions involved in the delivery of health care to refuse to provide services based on religious or moral convictions.
National Health Law Program Reproductive and Sexual Health Director Susan Berke Fogel criticized the administration for again ignoring input from patients, health care professionals and experts, heath advocates, and hospitals and health care providers. The new rule will likely result in widespread harm to the health of people all across the country, including those trying to survive in low-wage jobs that provide little to no access to health care services. The rule further subverts the purpose of the core mission of the Office for Civil Rights, which has played and should play a significant role in protecting access to health care and eliminating health disparities.
“More than 200,000 members of the public submitted comments urging the Trump administration to put patients first,” Fogel said. “Instead, the Trump administration has ignored the public, health care providers, and medical standards of care. There are already problematic federal exemptions on the books. Trump is dangerously expanding them to allow providers and institutions to deny women, LGBTQ individuals, and others medically necessary care that is based in science and rigorous research. People with the least resources will be most harmed by these rules if such a broad range of providers and other entities are allowed to deny access to comprehensive quality care based on their personal religious beliefs.”
National Health Law Program Staff Attorney Candace Gibson said, “Since his first days in office, Donald Trump has used executive powers to undermine access to health care in this country, particularly for those who are struggling to make ends meet and for those who are the most marginalized in our health care system. Women and LGBTQ individuals, especially transgender persons, have experienced pervasive discrimination in our health care system. It is one more example of the Trump administration elevating a narrow ideological view over the health care needs of patients.”