By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Trump administration officials are working on a new rule that civil rights organizations fear could essentially blow up the nondiscrimination protections of the Affordable Care Act for LGBTQ individuals and make it easier for hospitals, physicians or insurers to deny care or coverage to transgender people for religious reasons.
The debate centers on the word “sex” as it applies to those provisions. Some faith-based health-care organizations protested in 2016 when President Barack Obama’s Health and Human Services Department interpreted the term to include gender identity and transgender people as protected classes.
They worried they could be forced to provide surgery, medications or other care to help transgender people transition to the opposite sex — and several groups filed suit, arguing it violated their religious freedoms.
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