On Friday, June 12, 2020, President Trump’s administration reversed the protection. This fell on the four-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre, where 49 people were killed.
The Trump administration just finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in health care & health insurance on the 4 year anniversary of #PulseNightclub💔49 human beings lost their lives…we will keep fighting for equality & gun control pic.twitter.com/qGRdqvv0Br
— Aly & AJ (@alyandaj) June 13, 2020
Rules and regulations
The regulation falls under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as the Health Care Rights Law. It “prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities.”
Transgender people, along with women seeking abortions, can now be discriminated against under this reversal. The Trump administration enforces the clause by keeping gender definitions brief.
The Health Department, also known as HHS, now enforces Section 1557 by “returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”
The definition contradicts the Obama-era’s: “redefined sex discrimination to include termination of pregnancy and gender identity, which it defined as ‘one’s internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female.'”
“We cannot and will not allow Donald Trump to continue attacking us. Today, the Human Rights Campaign is announcing plans to sue the Trump administration for exceeding their legal authority and attempting to remove basic health care protections from vulnerable communities including LGBTQ people.”
Dr. Susan Bailey, President of the American Medical Association, opposed the change. “The federal government should never make it more difficult for individuals to access health care — during a pandemic or any other time,” said Bailey.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo assured New Yorkers they have expanded coverage. Moreover, Cuomo “enshrined the critical protections from the Affordable Care Act into state law.”
Social media backlash
It’s clear LGBTQ+ members and supporters are displeased with the June 12 finalization. This news weighs heavily on the community and its allies.
Twitter users took to social media to express their concerns:
Trump dishonored the 49 victims of the Pulse massacre and every LGBTQ American today by rolling back nondiscrimination health care protections for LGBTQ people during Pride month. The cruelty is the point.
— Ryan Knight ☭ (@ProudSocialist) June 13, 2020
If you support Donald Trump, you do not care about my life, LGBTQ+ lives (specifically trans lives), Black lives, POC lives, Indigenous lives, immigrants lives, women’s lives, you ONLY care about the straight white man.
Remember that, because I won’t forget your support of him.
— Gaelen🧑🎤✨(they/them) (@g_mccartney_) June 13, 2020
if you support trump you’re racist and anti LGBTQ this isn’t a question of just politics it’s a question of morals and ethics
— jACAB (@jacobvan1ue) June 13, 2020
The violation of the human right creates more tension between LGBTQ+ members and Trump. This is not the first occasion where he exercises his homophobia.
Trump also opposes marriage equality in the United States. In 2019, the Trump administration denied all LGBTQ+ flags from flying over on U.S. Embassy building flagpoles.
This regulation will become another nationwide problem, along with racism.