Schakowsky Blasts HHS Rollback of Obama-Era Protections for Transgender People

June 12, 2020
Press Release

EVANSTON, IL - Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus Providers and Clinics Task Force, released the following statement after the Trump Administration finalized their rule to promote gender-based discrimination and rollback of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which protects individuals seeking health care services from discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, language proficiency, age or disability:

“On Friday, the Trump Administration continued its cruelty and malpractice in yet another attack on our health care. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, during a national uprising for racial justice and Black lives, in the middle of Pride Month, and on the 4th anniversary of the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ+ community in our nation’s history, the Trump Administration gave providers, insurers, and hospitals a green light to discriminate against patients at a time when they need health care the most.

“Let me be clear: this rollback impacts LGBTQ+ people, women and all who can become pregnant, people seeking reproductive health care, people whose first language is not English, immigrants, people of color, and people with disabilities. That’s almost all of us. But this rule will hurt people living at the intersection of these identities the most — a Black transgender woman trying to get a COVID-19 test, an immigrant woman trying to access an abortion, a non-binary individual with a disability trying to get covered.

“President Trump and his enablers have committed an all out attack on our civil and human rights. Though this rule encourages providers and courts to adopt a discriminatory interpretation of our law, discrimination against LGBTQ+ patients, people of color, and women remains illegal. As the proud grandmother of a trans man, I will work with my colleagues to pass legislation explicitly prohibiting this type of discrimination and to ensure that health care is not a privilege for some but a human right for all.”