Recently, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] issued a rule that will allow the Government to force surgeons and physicians to perform medical procedures designed to permanently change an individual’s sex, at any age, even if the procedure is contrary to the surgeon or physician’s medical judgment.
This is an effort by the Obama administration to push its support of “trans rights” to stratospheric heights that are outside the bounds of common sense. It is creating a problem that does not exist and interfering in a delicate physician/patient relationship. HHS uses section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act [ACA or Obamacare] as its basis for issuing this rule.
To accomplish this, HHS has arbitrarily redefined the term “sex” to include “gender identity.” Even though the United States Congress has refused many attempts to redefine the term “sex,” the Obama administration feels it has the right to so.
1. In March of 2010, President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act.
2. Section 1557 of ACA states that no one can be denied federally funded health benefits because of a person’s race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.
3. Section 1557 does not define terms such as “sex.”
4. Section 1557’s basis for prohibiting sex discrimination is based on the section’s reference to Title IX, 20 U.S.C.A. section 1681 et seq.
5. Title IX is a comprehensive federal law (1972) that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.
6. Title IX does not define the term “sex” to include “gender identity.” Title IX does not define the term “sex.”
7. Congress has denied repeated attempts to expand the term “sex” from its meaning as used in Title IX.
8. On May 18, 2016, HHS published the new rule and arbitrarily expanded the term of “sex” to include “gender identity.”
9. The new rule applies to all entities and individuals that offer health care services that are in any way financed by the U. S. Government, such as Medicare or Medicaid.
10. On August 21, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, issued an injunction against the U. S. Department of Education’s [DOE] recent guidelines on transgender use of bathrooms and “concludes § 106.33 [of title IX rules] is not ambiguous. It cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex as used in § 106.33 when it was enacted by DOE following passage of Title IX meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth. See 34 C.F.R. § 106.33.”
11. Therefore, HHS cannot redefine the term “sex” to include “gender identity.”
12. HHS had actually used these DOE guidelines as authority for its right to expand the term “sex” to include “gender identity” in the new rule.
So again, we have the Obama administration circumventing Congress in order to push a political agenda forward. It does it with complete disregard for the rights of surgeons and physicians. The Obama administration would force a surgeon and physician to disregard their medical judgment. Even if the surgeon and physician thought the sexual transition procedure or procedures were not medically beneficial or necessary, the Government would force them to perform the transition surgery.
If they do not comply, then the U. S. Government will punish them.
The Government’s contempt for the Hippocratic Oath is clear. A physician is to do no harm. The physician and surgeon are the arbiters of whether or not harm will be done. Not the Government.
This contempt can be seen in HHS’s statement that “a categorization of all [sexual] transition-related treatment – as experimental, is outdated and not based on current standards of care.” See 81 Fed. Reg. at 31435 and 31429.
That is a decision for each surgeon and physician to make, not a decision the Government should be making.
The Government should not be interfering in the physician/patient relationship, particularly in the area of sexual transition procedures.
Common sense dictates that interference, use of force and threats of punishment will only result in decreased availability of these procedures in the future.