Attorneys General File Suit Against Biden’s HHS Over “Gender Affirming Care”

( – The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a controversial piece of legislation, to say the least. It has faced numerous legal challenges over the past decade or more. Now, two state attorneys general are taking the matter to court once again.

In a press release on Tuesday, June 11, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) announced that Texas and Montana have joined forces to sue the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) along with members of the Biden Administration. The issue at hand involves “a new rule under Section 1557 of the” ACA established in May that mandates healthcare providers perform gender transition procedures, or risk being defunded. Paxton alleges that if they refuse, providers “can be stripped of all federal healthcare funds, including federal Medicaid and Medicare dollars,” even if state law prohibits such procedures.

Paxton is accusing the Biden Administration of trying to override existing laws, a move he says is unconstitutional. He also said the rule is misapplying the ACA and that the federal government doesn’t have the authorization to compel healthcare providers and institutions to pay for or perform the procedures, which Paxton says are “experimental, unproven, and potentially dangerous.”

The rule, which was released by the Biden Administration at the end of April, says that healthcare institutions that receive federal funding and insurers that use government plans cannot refuse to provide a gender-affirming care service that one can receive for other reasons. The Hill gave the example that if they’re willing to remove a uterus for cancer, they can’t refuse to remove a healthy one for gender-affirming purposes.

For remedy, Paxton and Montana AG Austin Knudsen (R) are asking the courts to vacate the rule. In the interim, they want injunctive relief for their respective states, which would prevent the enforcement of the rule.

This isn’t the first time Section 1557 has faced legal challenges, either. Advocacy groups and lawmakers have butted heads over the interpretation of the policy. The ACA, established in former President Barack Obama’s era, originally included sex stereotyping and nondiscrimination protections. Former President Donald Trump removed them, but then President Joe Biden reinstated and expanded them.

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