Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Friday sued the Trump administration for its recent rollback of health protections given to the LGBTQ community under the Affordable Care Act.
ObamaCare prohibits discrimination against a patient because of their sex, race, national origin, age or disability.
However, if Trump's new restrictions are allowed to move forward, gender identity and sex stereotyping are removed from the law's definition of "sex discrimination," effectively allowing health care providers to refuse care to LGBTQ patients if they please.
Additionally, the rule change would allow "religious health care organizations, including religious hospitals and their employees, to discriminate on the basis of sex."
“We should be working to eliminate discrimination in our health care system, not allowing it,” Ferguson said in a statement. “President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE’s unlawful attempt to roll back anti-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act directly threatens the health and lives of Washingtonians. We’re in the middle of a pandemic — broad health care coverage has rarely been more critical. I will not allow the Trump Administration to attack Washingtonians’ access to unbiased care.”
Ferguson's office estimates that as many as 16,000 transgender people in the state will lose basic health coverage, as well as coverage for gender-affirming health care services. It also says that an additional 82,000 LGBTQ Washington residents would lose protection from being discriminated against when trying to find health care.
In his complaint, Ferguson argues that Trump's new rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which states that the federal government can't implement new rules that violate standing law or constitutional rights.
The suit comes after the Supreme Court on June 15 ruled that employment discrimination on the basis of transgender status or sexual orientation is unlawful.