WASHINGTON — The Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services today rescinded unlawful and misguided Obama-era regulations in the Affordable Care Act that would have created serious conscience conflicts for many health care providers. The Department of Housing and Urban Development also started to undo Obama-era rules by proposing a regulation that allows shelters to make their own sex-specific housing policies.
The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow Ryan T. Anderson, who submitted comments on the HHS rule and wrote on the Obama-era HHS and HUD regulations, had the following response:
Truth matters and words have meaning. The Trump administration is right to formally rescind Obamacare regulations that radically altered the meaning of ‘sex’ to mean things it doesn’t. Today's action follows the precedent of a federal court issuing a 50-state preliminary injunction that blocked these unlawful regulations from ever taking effect.
When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, it prohibited discrimination on the basis of 'sex.' Several years later, the Obama administration redefined ‘sex’ to mean gender identity and the termination of pregnancy. In addition to being an unlawful abuse of agency power, these rules would have caused serious harm.
They would have required doctors, hospitals, and health care organizations to act in ways contrary to their best medical judgments, their consciences, and the physical realities of their patients, or face steep fines and become easy targets for unreasonable and costly lawsuits.
The Trump administration is also correct to unwind an Obama-era housing regulation that imposed a gender identity mandate at the expense of privacy and safety. The proposed HUD rule allows shelters to determine their own policy on single-sex housing, thus protecting female-only spaces.
All people should be treated with dignity and respect. Therefore, federal law should not outlaw reasonable disagreements about the best medical care for gender dysphoria. Nor should federal law force anyone to violate their prolife conscience or the privacy and safety of others in the name of political correctness.