The Trump administration is moving to scrap an Obama-era policy that protected LGBTQ patients from discrimination, alarming health experts who warn that the regulatory rollback could harm vulnerable people during a pandemic.
The health department is close to finalizing its long-developing rewrite of Obamacare’s Section 1557 provision, which barred health care discrimination based on sex and gender identity. The administration’s final rule on Thursday was circulated at the Justice Department, a step toward publicly releasing the regulation in the coming days, said two people with knowledge of the pending rule. The White House on Friday morning also updated a regulatory dashboard to indicate that the rule was under review. Advocates fear that it would allow hospitals and health workers to more easily discriminate against patients based on their gender or sexual orientation.
They also have a Plan B, you know, just in case:
Any rule issued by the Trump administration on LGBTQ protections could be short-lived. The Supreme Court is set to rule on whether the Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ workers, which could create a new regulatory framework and force health officials to swiftly return to the drawing board.
It doesn’t take a fabulous rocket scientist to see Mike Pence’s theocratic (and shapely) fingers all over this like a common altar boy.