Tennessee’s attorney general is leading the charge against a proposed change to Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).
Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti will lead a coalition of 20 states in filing a public comment against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s (DHS) plan to change the wording in Section 1557 from “sex” to “gender identity.”
“This regulation seeks to rewrite the law without going through the legislative process. That’s not how our system works,” said Skrmetti. “This sort of unilateral action deprives the people of a voice in the process and undermines the legitimacy of federal law.”
The current wording says that Section 1557 “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex in covered health programs or activities.”
The new wording would add qualifying language, and would state in full that Section 1557 “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex” (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics), in covered health programs or activities.”
The Public Comment coalition points out the following as areas of concern:
– The proposed regulation ignores the text of the relevant statute and relies on judicial precedent that does not support the proposed changes in law.
– The proposed regulation fails to address the context of Title IX’s use of the terms “sex” and “sex discrimination.”
– The proposed regulation fails to consider the significant effects it will have on regulated parties.
– The proposed regulation relies on an interpretation of Title IX that has been enjoined by a federal court.
The change from “sex” to “gender identity” is part of a broader effort by the Biden administration to replace biological sex with gender identity.
In January, Biden issued an executive order directing the head of each federal agency to review and revise language that included the word “sex” and change it to “gender identity.”
“Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia are the 19 other states joining in the public comment effort.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Jonathan Skrmetti” by Tennessee Courts. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Carol M. Highsmith.