BREAKING: Federal Judge Overturns Obamacare Protections for Transgender Patients

Judge Reed O’Connor, who was appointed by George W. Bush has overturned a Obama-era transgender policy required doctors and hospitals to provide “medically necessary” services to transgender individuals.

O’Connor previously ruled that Obamacare was unconstitutional because of a 2012 Supreme Court Ruling.

Per Heavy, O’Connor has blocked several Obama-era policies aimed at transgender community rights. on August 22, 2016, O’Connor blocked an Obama-era policy from going into effect, one which advised school districts that transgender students should be able to access bathrooms based upon their gender identity, not just their sex. Via NPR, O’Connor wrote that the Obama administration’s use of Title IX in this instance was inaccurate, and that the law was “not ambiguous.”

In his opinion, O’Connor ordered all parties must “maintain the status quo.” He wrote in part, “[It] cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex as used … following passage of Title IX meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.”

Then, on December 31, 2016, O’Connor blocked another transgender policy, this time one aimed at protecting transgender individuals from discrimination within health care. According to The Houston Chronicle, O’Connor argued that the policy violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and that the nation’s laws preventing discrimination by sex were being unduly stretched to include discrimination based on gender.

The Hill reports a federal judge on Tuesday overturned ObamaCare protections for transgender patients, ruling that a 2016 policy violates the religious freedoms of Christian providers.

Judge Reed O’Connor in the Northern District of Texas vacated an Obama-era regulation that prohibited providers and insurers who receive federal money from denying treatment or coverage to anyone based on sex, gender identity or termination of pregnancy.

It also required doctors and hospitals to provide “medically necessary” services to transgender individuals, as long as those services were the same ones provided to other patients.

O’Connor, who is the same judge who last year ruled 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.

They argued the rule forces insurers to pay for abortions and compels doctors to perform gender transition services, even if they disagree with those services on moral or medical grounds.

O’Connor agreed, and issued a nationwide injunction against enforcing the rule. The injunction meant that even though the provisions remained in effect, the Obama administration could not sue a hospital or provider for not complying.

President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services initially defended the rule, but the Trump administration decided to drop its defense, and argued the rule should be sent back to the agency to be rewritten.

The Trump administration is working on a regulatory fix, and has issued a proposed rule that would scrap ObamaCare’s definition of “sex discrimination” to remove protections for gender identity.

Advocates argue removing those protections will allow health care providers, hospitals and insurers to discriminate against transgender patients.

This article was written by the staff of 

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