President Joe Biden is continuing his tradition of reversing policies implemented by former President Donald Trump.
According to The Blaze, an announcement this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that it would essentially ban hospitals and health care workers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender, meaning an end to the right to refuse certain sex change procedures.
“A right not to be discriminated against”
The news represents a restoration of the Obama-era policy rescinded during the Trump administration.
For its part, the Trump administration defined the term “sex” as consistent with the gender assigned at birth, effectively excluding transgender individuals from some federal protections.
The HHS announcement redefined “sex” to encompass gender identity and sexual orientation, providing LGBTQ individuals additional protection under federal discrimination statutes — including within the realm of health care.
“The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “That’s why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination.”
He went on to assert that fears within the community about discrimination “can lead individuals to forego care, which can have serious negative consequences” on impacted groups.
“Leftist ideology regarding sexuality and gender”
“It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period,” Becerra insisted.
Of course, the policy reversal is almost certain to face opposition in the courts from critics, especially considering the fact that it will impact doctors who might be compelled to perform procedures that contradict their personal or professional judgment.
Terry Schilling, the president of the American Principles Project, expressed his group’s concerns, stating: “This policy is really about forcing hospitals and medical professionals to adhere to leftist ideology regarding sexuality and gender — and in particular to provide sex-change procedures to all comers, including children.”
He argued that Becerra’s rhetoric about LGBTQ individuals being denied medical services was untrue, describing the scare tactic as another attempt to spread a progressive agenda.
It remains to be seen how much damage if any, the new policy will cause to the nation’s health care system. Until Republicans regain control in D.C., however, it appears to represent the new normal.