Republican Susan Collins Promises To Restore LGBTQ Protections, Calls Roll Back ‘Discriminatory’

Republican Susan Collins is striking at President Trump over his decision to roll back health protections for LGBTQ Americans. On Friday, President Trump announced that there will be no more anti-discrimination protections for transgender people in healthcare. The protections were originally put in place by the Obama administration.

What makes the move even more jarring is that it comes on the anniversary of the Pulse night club shooting when 49 people were gunned down in Orlando, Florida. On Sunday, Collins voiced her disapproval of Trump’s decision via a tweet saying, “The Trump Administration’s decision to eliminate protections for transgender patients is simply wrong. I’ll work to overturn this discriminatory policy.”

The protections for Transgender people are located in section 1557 in the ACA. It “prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities.” The Obama administration added protections regarding pregnancy and gender identity in 2016. The addition reads sex includes,   “one’s internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female.”

The Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the finalization of the new rule. The department says the rule will take effect in August. The new rule returns to the original definition of “sex” to mean male or female.

Roger Severino, director of the HHS’s Office for Civil Rights said on Friday, “HHS respects the dignity of every human being, and as we have shown in our response to the pandemic, we vigorously protect and enforce the civil rights of all to the fullest extent permitted by our laws as passed by Congress.” He added, “We are unwavering in our commitment to enforcing civil rights in healthcare.”

In response to the change, The Human Rights Campaign vowed to take the Trump administration to court. HRC President Alphonso David said, “We cannot and will not allow Donald Trump to continue attacking us.” He added, “Today, the Human Rights Campaign is announcing plans to sue the Trump administration for exceeding their legal authority and attempting to remove basic health care protections from vulnerable communities including LGBTQ people.”


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