WASHINGTON — The Biden administration says the government will protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination in health care.
The announcement reverses a Trump-era policy that sought to narrow the scope of legal rights in sensitive situations involving medical care.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Monday that LGBTQ people should have the same access to health care as everyone else.
“Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”
Last summer, the Trump administration had defined “sex” to mean gender assigned at birth, thereby excluding transgender people from the umbrella of legal protection against sex discrimination. A federal judge later blocked those orders from taking effect.
The Biden administration's policy change on Monday is its latest effort to break from the policies of the previous administration. Upon taking office in January, Biden immediately lifted a travel ban to several Muslim-majority countries, stopped an effort to withdraw from the World Health Organization, rejoined the Paris Climate Accord and rolled back several Trump-era environmental efforts.