Federal Judge Vacates Obama-Era Rule Banning Discrimination Against Transgender Patients
Judge Reed O'Connor for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas is the same federal judge who last year ruled that the entire 2010 health care law was invalid. The decision is likely to be appealed, as O'Connor also ruled that the American Civil Liberties Union and River City Gender Alliance could intervene in the case.
Judge Strikes Part Of Obama-Era Nondiscrimination Health Rule
A federal judge on Tuesday vacated an Obama-era health care rule banning discrimination, including against transgender individuals. The rule also prohibits medical providers and insurers from discriminating against people seeking abortions. The ruling comes as the Supreme Court is considering three other cases on gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination this term. (Raman, 10/15)
Judge Overturns Civil Rights Protections For Transgender, Abortion Patients
The ruling is the latest turn in the long-running legal battle over the ACA’s nondiscrimination protections, Section 1557 of the law. The Obama administration extended those protections to transgender and abortion patients, prompting a lawsuit from eight conservative-leaning states and a Catholic health system. At the tail end of the Obama administration, O’Connor blocked the anti-discrimination provision specifically for gender identity and patients who have had an abortion. The Trump administration agreed with that ruling and had asked to O’Connor to delay a decision on the merits until it was able to write new regulations. HHS proposed new nondiscrimination rules in May that excluded protections for transgender patients. (Luthi, 10/15)
Federal Judge Overturns ObamaCare Transgender Protections
O’Connor, the same judge who last year ruled that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, said the rule violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. His ruling is likely to be appealed. The ObamaCare rule was initially challenged in court in 2016 by a group of Christian providers called the Franciscan Alliance as well as five conservative states. (Weixel, 10/15)