Disputed Obamacare rule would broaden transgender rights
Mar 22, 2016 09:45 PM EDT
Covering gender transitions and realignment could be constituted under Barack Obama's health care law but big companies and employers are pushing back against it.
According to LGBTQ Nation, the Obamacare law is being proposed to require medical plans and insurance to cover gender transition procedures and other services involved. Civil Rights advocates claim that this would be a major step towards a marginalized community starting to gain acceptance since many celebrities revealed their stories. Moreover, this would be an indicator of a changing social mores and subtle interpretations of the complex federal laws including the Affordable Care Act. It should be known that President Barack Obama is the first president to openly say he's supporting transgenders' rights.
However, the latest update on the law must be first resolved by the courts as reported by CNBC. Nondiscrimination section of Obamacare institutes that federal civil rights protections are mandated also under health overhaul. This refers to the statement "receiving federal financial assistance" interpreted to include Medicaid agencies and insurers, hospitals and other major service providers.
PBS wrote that a group representing big employers said that the members don't have anything against gender realignment but their large employers said that this move would be an overreach of the Obama administration after knowing that their health plans don't get federal financial assistance.
Gretchen Young, vice president of ERISA Industry Committee, said nothing in the health law indicates that large employers should subject to the rule. She added that "people are getting concerned there will be a whole body of things that will come up in the future."
ERISA is a 1970's federal law that governs big-employer benefit plans who create their own plans and cover the expected cost of workforces. Usually, they hire an insurance company to see the daily operations and this is the connection to the disputed health law. But, the insurance industry will be a middleman third party administration and they wouldn't relish being one. Lastly, it would be an additional burden for insurers to participate in another federal programs.