The Trump administration on Friday finalized a rule that abolishes anti-discrimination health care protections for LGBTQ people, included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The announcement came during Pride month and on the 4th year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, where LGBTQ people were shot.  

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in its statement on Friday that, “Under the final rule, HHS eliminates certain provisions of the 2016 Rule that exceeded the scope of the authority delegated by Congress in Section 1557. HHS will enforce Section 1557 by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.” 

The change outraged many LGBTQ rights groups and individuals. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) also announced that they will file a lawsuit challenging the administration’s “decision to roll back critical civil rights protections in the rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”

The National Center for Transgender Equality said in its statement that, “every person deserves the right to life-saving testing & treatment as we navigate #COVID19, but the Trump admin wants trans people to be denied medical care because of who they are”.

Kris Hayashi, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center said that the move was “appalling”, adding that “Trans people should be able to seek medical care when we need help without being turned away or denied treatment because of who we are”. 

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