Healthcare LGBT

HHS Unveils New Obamacare Regulations for Transgender Access

Written by SK Ashby

Good news -- Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a sweeping regulation that will protect transgender patients from discrimination.

The new rule refers to Obamacare Section 1557, which established nondiscrimination protections in health care on the basis of “sex” for the first time. According to Thursday’s announcement, “sex” will be defined to include gender identity, guaranteeing transgender people have the same access to health care as others. “This proposed approach is consistent,” the rule reads, “with the principle that discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity and that failure to treat individuals in accordance with their gender identity may constitute prohibited discrimination.”

As Zack Ford at ThinkProgress points, healthcare providers will be barred from denying coverage to transgender individuals based on their identity. Furthermore, specific medical procedures can no longer be denied once the regulations are in place.

I was generally aware that transgender people have been discriminated against by the healthcare industry, but I'm shocked to learn that 50 percent of transgender patients have been forced to educate their own doctors.

I'd call that embarrassing for the industry.