|Trump, Pence and HHS Secretary Azar.|
With the Covid-19 pandemic raging one would think that the main focus of the Trump/Pence regime would be on insuring that all Americans have access to quality healthcare without any obstacles. Sadly, that would be a false assumption. As Politico is reporting the Trump/Pence regime is continuing on its quest to roll back Obama administration policies that protected LGBT individuals from discrimination and the refusal of medical services which in the LGBT context are part of Trump's efforts to impose the anti-LGBT license to discriminate laws Trump's motivation for with such vile actions? To maintain his support among evangelical Christians and Christofascists who cannot tolerate any regulations or policies that restrict their ability to mistreat those they deem "other" and who have a sick need to look down upon others in order to feel superior. Here are highlights from Politico:
The Trump administration is moving to scrap an Obama-era policy that protected LGBTQ patients from discrimination, alarming health experts who warn that the regulatory rollback could harm vulnerable people during a pandemic.
The health department is close to finalizing its long-developing rewrite of Obamacare’s Section 1557 provision, which barred health care discrimination based on sex and gender identity. The administration’s final rule on Thursday was circulated at the Justice Department, a step toward publicly releasing the regulation in the coming days, said two people with knowledge of the pending rule. The White House on Friday morning also updated a regulatory dashboard to indicate that the rule was under review. Advocates fear that it would allow hospitals and health workers to more easily discriminate against patients based on their gender or sexual orientation.
The Obama administration moved to create its non-discrimination protections in response to advocates and health care experts who said that LGBTQ patients were being turned away from necessary care or intimidated from seeking it out. The broad rule also offered specific protections for transgender patients for the first time and extended protections for women who had abortions. But a federal judge in 2016 blocked those protections following a lawsuit from religious groups, and the Trump administration has steadily worked to weaken the rule before it could take full effect.
In last year's proposal, the health department also proposed changes that went further than simply rolling back the new Obama protections, moving to eliminate similar nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ patients that were contained in other regulations.
"If the final rule is anything like the proposed rule, HHS is adopting changes that would be harmful in the best of times but that are especially cruel in the midst of a global pandemic that is disproportionately affecting vulnerable communities and exacerbating disparities,” said Katie Keith, a lawyer and Georgetown professor who’s tracked the rule.
The health department's top civil rights official also defended the administration's approach to vulnerable populations. “As we have shown in our recent efforts to protect persons from disability and age discrimination during the pandemic, HHS will vigorously enforce civil rights laws as passed by Congress, before, during, and after any rulemaking,” Roger Severino, the HHS civil rights chief, said in a statement. Severino was an active critic of the Obama-era non-discrimination rules before joining the administration.
Any rule issued by the Trump administration on LGBTQ protections could be short-lived. The Supreme Court is set to rule on whether the Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ workers, which could create a new regulatory framework and force health officials to swiftly return to the drawing board.
Given the Trump/Pence regime's anit-LGBT agenda - and that of the GOP in general, I find it dumbfounding that a small percentage of gays continue to call themselves Republicans. It makes about as much sense as a 1930's German Jew joining the Nazi Party.