Health Care

Texas judge issues injunction barring anti-discrimination provisions of ACA

Texas judge issues injunction barring anti-discrimination provisions of ACA”

A Judge of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Saturday issued a preliminary injunction against a federal mandate meant to protect transgender people, ruling that the federal health rule violates existing law.

"Today's decision is a setback, but hopefully a temporary one, since all Americans - regardless of their sex, gender identity or sexual orientation - should have access to quality, affordable health care free from discrimination". They are attempting to overturn Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act which bars discrimination by health insurance companies and medial practitioners accepting federal funds. The provision protects against entities refusing to provide health care or health-care coverage based on a person's sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping. "The ruling ensures that doctors' best medical judgment will not be replaced with political agendas and bureaucratic interference".

The court ruled on Saturday against the federal government, the judge indicated that a preliminary injunction was appropriate as the federal health mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act - which governs how federal agencies issue regulations.

The court order, brought by the states of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Louisiana, Arizona, Kentucky, and MS, along with three Christian-affiliated groups, stated that the Health and Human Services department's regulations prohibiting doctors from discriminating on the basis of gender identity, or against women seeking abortions, violated practitioners' religious freedom.

O'Connor's ruling was celebrated by religious freedom advocates, such as the Family Research Council's Travis Weber.

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Mara Keisling, executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, called the decision "another predictable, baseless ruling by a judge who state officials sought out specifically because he could be relied on to deliver a ruling hostile to transgender people".

The plaintiffs also claimed that they could be required to perform gender transition procedures on children, according to Texas Tribune.

As Mother Jones' Kevin Drum recently joked, "If you want a local judge to block an Obama initiative and apply his ruling to the entire country, go to Texas".

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor agreed to issue an injunction on December 31, finding the plaintiffs had standing to bring their suit, and a "substantial likelihood" they'd succeed in their case. This system would completely upend medical practice in the United States, legalizing prejudice-based refusal of service and placing the burden on patients to find a doctor and insurance company who will provide the treatment they need. O'Connor said the plaintiffs had sufficient reason to fear the law would result in religious discrimination.



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