Last month, the agency removed web pages that contained frequently asked questions about a law ensuring that trans people are covered by non-discrimination laws when seeking health care.
As if that wasn’t enough, HHS also announced preparations last week to rewrite a non-discrimination regulation so that it no longer recognizes transgender people.
While the Section 1557 regulation and FAQs about it simply interpret the law and give advice on how to comply, OCR’s continuous trimming of them sends a clear message that providers and insurance companies can freely deny needed care to transgender people.
This is unlikely to lead to a complete reversal of the progress made in recent years — for example, a survey of 2017 individual health plans in 16 states found that over 95 percent no longer had broad exclusions on transition-related health care.
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Harper Jean Tobin is the director of policy at NCTE.