Texas Judge Blocks Obamacare Rule Forcing Transgender Surgeries
A federal judge in Texas halted enforcement of federal rules under the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) which would have forced doctors to perform — and employers to cover — gender transition surgeries. The judge blocked the rule on Saturday, one day before it was to go into effect in the new year.
The states of Kentucky, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and Wisconsin joined with religiously affiliated medical groups (the Franciscan Alliance, Specialty Physicians of Illinois, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations) to sue the Obama administration over the rules in August. On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor granted the injunction, preventing the rules from going into effect on New Year's Day.
O'Connor said the plaintiffs had "presented concrete evidence to support their fears that they will be subject to enforcement under the Rule," BuzzFeed reported. "Plaintiffs claim the Rule's interpretation of sex discrimination pressures doctors to deliver healthcare in a manner that violates their religious freedom and thwarts their independent medical judgment and will require burdensome changes to their health insurance plans on January 1, 2017," O'Connor explained.
According to rules finalized in May, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) interprets Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act as protecting transgender people's chosen identity.
Rather than defining the term "sex" in federal law to refer to biological sex — male and female — the Obama administration has taken a broader interpretation of the term to include those who identify as the opposite sex. Critics point out that when laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex were passed, they did not refer to the more nebulous "gender identity."
Nevertheless, the HHS website explicitly endorses transgender ideology on the issue of healthcare:
Explicit categorical exclusions in coverage for all health care services related to gender transition are facially discriminatory. Other exclusions for gender transition care will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
In other words, it does not matter if a doctor or health care institution accepts the scientific stance that transgender surgery involves harming healthy sexual organs, and therefore is not health care. Denying transgender surgery in principle is "facially discriminatory," or discriminatory on its face.
While many religious groups were involved in the lawsuit, the opposition to transgenderism is not just religious. A study from Johns Hopkins University in August discovered that there is no concrete evidence suggesting people are born gay or transgender. Also, Johns Hopkins researchers warned against drastic gender changes among children, as early transgender identities may fade with age.
Indeed, many have spoken out about how transgender surgery and hormones have damaged their mental and physical well-being. Two women in particular, who thought they were men and underwent "gender affirming" "treatment," took to YouTube to lament the damage their transgenderism caused.