Kaiser Permanente is reaffirming its support for transgender equality in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publishing a final rule on June 12 removing protection for gender identity and sexual orientation under the existing nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act.
Removing gender identity and sexual orientation from discrimination protections could result in the denial of care to transgender people, in the midst of a pandemic.
“These changes to the ACA nondiscrimination provision do not affect our commitment to transgender care and equality. Kaiser Permanente is maintaining existing services and protections for all our transgender members,” said Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Greg Adams. “We remain true to the principles of mutual respect and cultural understanding and are committed to providing high-quality care that respects the dignity of all people. This has always been part of our mission and today it is even more important, as we seek an end to systemic racism and are rightfully demanding equality, social justice, and an end to discrimination.”
In 2018, when HHS began the process of redefining gender under the existing nondiscrimination provision of the ACA, Kaiser Permanente joined more than 50 other major companies and organizations by signing a statement in support of transgender equality. Kaiser Permanente also strongly objected to the proposed changes in a comment letter to HHS in August 2019, joining over 130,000 others calling on the agency to maintain the critical nondiscrimination protections of the longstanding rule.
Kaiser Permanente is a nationally recognized leader in LGBTQ health care equality, providing full spectrum medical, surgical, and mental health care to our transgender patients and members. We are proud to offer gender-affirming services that ensure respectful, equitable, and inclusive care to all of our transgender and gender-expansive patients and members everywhere that we deliver care.