In the Headlines
July 9, 2024

Federal Judge Blocks LGBTQ+ Healthcare Protections

Healthcare Dive

Healthcare attorney Robert Bradner spoke with Healthcare Dive about a federal judge's ruling that the Biden Administration cannot enforce new anti-discrimination protections for transgender patients. In April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule seeking to restore Obama-era regulations that prohibited insurers and providers from discriminating against patients based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. HHS argued that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), along with the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, justified the new rules. However, a Mississippi federal judge disagreed, finding that the agency had "likely exceeded its statutory authority" in applying the Bostock reasoning; he also cited the Supreme Court's recent decision overturning the Chevron doctrine in barring the rule from going into effect. Mr. Bradner said the Chevron case could make it easier for courts to justify decisions like this one by lowering the bar for invalidating federal agency guidance. He also noted that the current — and historically unproductive — Congress is unlikely to pass legislation regarding transgender protections.

"The problem with Congress is that they have not jealously guarded their authority over the past several decades," he explained. "You've seen them do less specific legislating on difficult subjects [in recent years]."

READ: Federal Judge Blocks LGBTQ+ Healthcare Protections

Holland & Knight announced the formation of its Chevron Deference Working Team in advance of the U.S. Supreme Court's June 28, 2024, Loper decision, which overturned the Chevron deference doctrine and will lead to a period of regulatory changes and potential legal challenges for some time.

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