ACP urges reversal on federal rule allowing discrimination in healthcare

June 16, 2020

The organization disagrees with the Trump administration’s move to remove federal protections for transgender people under the Affordable Care Act.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is speaking out against a Trump administration final rule to do away with federal protections for transgender and other people under the Affordable Care Act.

In a statement from ACP President Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP, the organization says that the move will allow and even encourage healthcare facilities to discriminate against patients based on their gender identity, eliminate explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBQ persons in qualified health plans, and will lead to people being denied healthcare because of their gender identity.

“Discrimination harms the health of LGBTQ individuals, both mentally and physically,” Fincher says. “As physicians, we have a responsibility to protect our patients and improve the health of all Americans, and LGBTQ individuals are no exception. ACP has long said that discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation, gender, gender orientation and other personal characteristics, is a public health issue.”

The statement says that ACP submitted comments to the administration opposing the final rule’s weakening of such protections and will continue to seek reversal of the rule.

“Discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and other personal characteristics should never be permissible in employment, and in health care,” Fincher says.  

The rule, which goes into effect in August, defines sex discrimination only as someone being discriminated against due to being male or female and not for those being discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, National Public Radio reports.

The move came days before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay and transgender people are protected by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which the ACP applauded.