HHS Proposes Rules to End Anti-Transgender Discrimination

Browse By

Blog Search

September 3, 2015
Lambda Legal Transgender Rights Project Director M. Dru Levasseur

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released proposed rules that clarify that transgender people are protected from a broad range of health care discrimination under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, the first federal civil rights law that provides protections on the basis of sex in health care.

The proposed rules clarify that individuals cannot be denied health care or health care coverage based on their sex, including their gender identity, and states that categorical exclusions for transition-related care are "facially discriminatory." They also state that individuals must be treated consistent with their gender identity in accessing facilities.

For years Lambda Legal has been involved in the transgender health care fight in our litigation, advocacy, and educational work knowing that people’s lives are at stake. The proposed rules could drastically change the landscape for a population that faces extreme health disparities, bias, and discrimination in health care settings and in coverage.

Transgender people have been suffering far too long. After decades of struggle, the pathway to fair appropriate health care for all is finally opening up. Today’s announcement from HHS is a tremendous step.

In September 2013, Lambda Legal submitted comments calling upon HHS to interpret the Affordable Care Act to protect LGBT people and people living with HIV from discrimination in health care. 

As the rules released today head into public comment, Lambda Legal will continue to insist that sex discrimination protections in health care also disallow bias based on sexual orientation.

Read the press release.

Know Your Rights: Transgender