HHS Seeks to Roll Back Obama Interpretation of Civil Rights Laws

Around the same time that the latest International Classification of Diseases, ICD-11, was approved by the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted proposed regulations to roll back an Obama administration interpretation of section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which would have revised the understanding of discrimination on the basis of sex to include gender identity.

OCR Director Roger Severino explains, “When Congress prohibited sex discrimination, it did so according to the plain meaning of the term, and we are making our regulations conform. The American people want vigorous protection of civil rights and faithfulness to the text of the laws passed by their representatives. The proposed rule would accomplish both goals.”

HHS’ proposed change would mean that healthcare providers and health insurers would not be forced to provide services for “transgenders,” since “gender identity” would not be considered a protected class under civil rights laws.

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