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Biden administration restores transgender health care protections rolled back under Trump

The Biden administration will reinstate anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, especially transgender people, that had been narrowed under the Trump administration, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra confirmed Monday.

Why it matters: A Trump-era rule defining "sex" to mean gender assigned at birth had made it easier for doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to deny transgender people health coverage.

  • The rollback — which came last June, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — rescinded an Obama administration rule that protected against discrimination on the basis of "gender identity" as well as sex.
  • Becerra said that the new protections will bring the agency's policies in line with a Supreme Court ruling last year that prevents employers from firing employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, per AP.

What they're saying: "It simply says what everyone already should know. You should not discriminate against people, that includes those based on sexual orientation or gender identity," Becerra told CNN.

  • "And when it comes to healthcare, we want to make sure that's the case. There was a provision in the Affordable Care Act, which said that, and so now it's clear."
  • "There's no ambiguity. You cannot discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

The big picture: LGBTQ advocates viewed Becerra's confirmation as a win for transgender rights, considering his track record as California's attorney general.

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