A proposed rule change under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could remove transgender health protections from the Affordable Care Act.
Shockingly, this would also give medical professionals and other healthcare providers the right to refuse to treat trans people, citing “religious beliefs” as a reason.
Under the Obama Administration, trans rights expanded in large part due to an interpretation of 'sex discrimination' as being inclusive of trans people as well as cisgender women.
Objecting to this interpretation, many faith-based health care providers feared it would mean they’d be required to provide medical care, including gender-confirming surgery, for trans people.
In reaction, many religious groups filed lawsuits, claiming that being forced to provide care for trans people violated their religious freedoms.
Under Trump, HHS appears to be sympathetic to these concerns, saying they are rewriting their policy. They said:
The United States has returned to its long-standing position that the term ‘sex’… does not refer to gender identity.
The move comes alongside similar moves by the administration, including the trans military ban.
Trump's administration has made it clear that they do not want to recognise trans people, saying in a 2018 memo that and definition of “gender” must be based “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”