The insanity of ObamaCare has metastasized…
The consequences of a doctor’s decision not to treat a patient acting like the opposite sex now range from loss of federal funding to civil lawsuits to potential criminal investigation.
Doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies may soon face lawsuits for treating male and female patients according to their biological sex, thanks to a health care rule finalized in May as part of the Affordable Care Act.
On the same day President Barack Obama announced his controversial transgender school bathroom policy last month, a somewhat more sinister mandate was finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with consequences for health care providers, insurance companies, and American taxpayers.
The rule contains an explicit definition of gender identity that states a person can claim to be male, female, neither, both, or some combination of the two, said Roger Severino, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation.
“It’s now federal policy that you could be both male and female in some combination,” he said. “That’s a pretty radical statement, and impossible to know what it really means.”
If a medical doctor, based on biological evidence, sees a male patient, but the patient claims to be a female, the doctor must treat the patient as a female. Failure to do so could leave the doctor vulnerable to lawsuits, lost federal funding, and federal investigation by the Office of Civil Rights, the HHS arm implementing this policy.
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The regulations provide an example of how a doctor could discriminate against a transgender patient, Severino said. If two people are both candidates for a hysterectomy, one a woman with uterine cancer and the other a woman who wants fewer woman parts to look more like a man but is otherwise perfectly healthy, the doctor could be found to be discriminating against the second woman by choosing to treat the woman with cancer instead. The rule states all the second woman would need to attempt to force the surgeon to perform an elective hysterectomy is a note from a psychologist affirming her desire to become a man, Severino said.
This essentially takes away a physician’s independent medical judgement, Severino said: “[doctors] shouldn’t be put in the position to violate their conscience or their medical judgment… Lawyers, not doctors, will decide if something is medically appropriate.”
According to HHS’ Office of Civil Rights, the rule (Section 1557) emanates from the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs or activities. The rule claims to build on federal civil rights laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975.
The rule will take effect on July 18. A HHS summary sheet describes the rule’s intent: “The rule makes clear that sex discrimination prohibited under Section 1557 includes discrimination based on an individual’s sex; pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions; gender identity; and sex stereotyping. Individuals cannot be denied health care or health care coverage based on their sex, including their gender identity.”