Washington D.C., May 10, 2021 / 10:00 am
The Biden administration on Monday announced it would interpret and enforce existing law to ensure people identifying as LGBTQ were not denied access to health care.
“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,” said Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), on Monday.
The law in question, Sec. 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, prohibits sex-based discrimination in health care. The Obama administration interpreted it to include protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This was the basis of the administration’s “transgender mandate,” ruling that people could not be denied gender-transition surgeries upon the referral of a mental health professional.
The administration did not exempt doctors who were opposed to providing the surgeries, for medical or conscience reasons.