Surprising nobody with any knowledge of the Trump Administration’s history when it comes to LGBTQ rights, the administration has moved to void healthcare protections for LGBTQ Americans at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The protections came into effect as part of Obamacare, the healthcare reforms passed under President Barack Obama. Section 1557 of the law prohibits denial of care based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Now Politico reports that both the White House and Justice Department have announced that removal of the regulation is under final review. Worse, the new rules would roll back other legal protections for LGBTQ Americans in seeking and accessing healthcare.
“If the final rule is anything like the proposed rule, HHS is adopting changes that would be harmful in the best of times but that are especially cruel in the midst of a global pandemic that is disproportionately affecting vulnerable communities and exacerbating disparities,” Georgetown law professor Katie Keith told Politico.
Critics like Keith worry that changing rules to allow healthcare providers to turn away queer patients could have far-reaching and damaging effects on the community, and drastically affect the access of LGBTQ Americans to healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic.