White House to prevent LGBTQ discrimination in health care

The move is a reversal of a policy from the previous administration of Donald Trump. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House announced on Monday (May 10) that it would take action against health care providers who discriminate against gay and transgender people.

"The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation," US President Joe Biden's Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

"That's why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination," Becerra said.

"It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone - including LGBTQ people - should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period."

The move is a reversal of a policy from the previous administration of Donald Trump that LGBTQ rights groups said allowed health care providers to refuse services to people who are transgender.

The Supreme Court ruled last year in an unrelated case that gay and transgender workers are entitled to protection from discrimination under US civil rights law.

The Biden administration said those same non-discrimination protections should apply when it comes to health care under the Affordable Care Act.

"No one should be discriminated against when seeking medical services because of who they are," said Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, the highest-ranking transgender official to serve in the federal government.

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