Advocates: Trump administration decision could allow for transgender health discrimination

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With a possibility of the removal of transgender health care protections on the horizon, equality advocates say the move could allow for discrimination.

Kristen Browde, of the Nationals Trans Bar Association, is one of many who are concerned a new rule soon to be introduced by the Trump administration will allow health care providers, hospitals and insurers to deny care or coverage to transgender patients.

A number of groups filed suit after an Obamacare rule prohibited gender identity discrimination in 2016, claiming it violated religious freedom.

This month as part of their legal statement, Trump officials felt the provision should be rewritten, saying in part, "The United States has returned to its longstanding position that the term 'sex' does not refer to gender identity."

"I can't declare that my religion allows me to assassinate people who discriminate against transgender Americans. That's absurd," says Browde. "Donald Trump can't say it infringes on somebody's religious freedom to deny health care."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo condemned the decision, saying in part, "We took action in this year's state budget to ensure all New Yorkers are protected from insurance discrimination by enshrining these critical protections from the Affordable Care Act into state law."

According to a map created by the Human Rights Campaign, six states ban insurance exclusions for transgender health care and 13 states provide inclusive health benefits for state employees.

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