Washington state sues Trump administration to block rollback of transgender health care protection

www.cbs58.com (cnn.com) Jul 17, 2020

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) — The state of Washington is suing the Trump administration to block the rollback of an Affordable Care Act regulation that has prohibited discrimination in health care against patients who are transgender.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal district court, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson argued that the Department of Health and Human Services’ final rule, which takes effect next month, violates patients’ constitutional rights and the purpose of the ACA to increase access to health care and insurance, by “allowing broad discrimination to interfere with important medical care.”

The lawsuit cites the US Supreme Court’s June 15 ruling, saying that the court held that “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status is unlawful discrimination because of sex,” and accuses HHS of defying the high court’s decision by publishing its rule.

The landmark Supreme Court ruling related to discrimination in the workplace and extended protection for LGBTQ workers but opened the door to other challenges to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status.

Washington state’s lawsuit asserts that the HHS rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act, a federal law that governs the way agencies can propose and establish regulations.