On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the interpretation of the Affordable Care Act by the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Xavier Becerra was not correct. Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas ruled that the provisions of the law were not discriminatory.
The judge ruled that the Department of Health and Human Services had used a flawed logic when it tried to force doctors to provide transgender individuals with medically necessary services.
In May, the agency issued a notice of enforcement and interpretation stating that the ACA's provisions on sex discrimination cover transgender individuals. It had required doctors who receive federal funding to provide these services.
The services covered by these regulations include birth control pills, hormone therapy, and procedures that involve genital mutilation and castration. The American Family Foundation (AFL) claimed that the ruling prevented the government from forcing doctors to provide gender-affirming care.
Based on its interpretation of the law, the Biden Administration had claimed that the provisions of the ACA's sex discrimination prevention act covered transgender individuals. It also prohibited discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. In practice, the agency had planned to force doctors to provide these services against their medical judgment.
AFL filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of a group of doctors against the Biden Administration. It sought to prevent the agency from forcing doctors to provide these services to transgender patients. The complaint noted that the proposed regulations could be considered discriminatory even though they affect the practice of medicine.
The lawyers for the group of doctors noted that none of them refused to provide these services to transgender individuals. Instead, they provided them with nuanced care based on their individual circumstances.
One of the doctors who joined the lawsuit is Susan Neese, a board-certified Internal Medicine specialist. She has provided hormone therapy to some of her patients, though she said these services are not appropriate in all cases.
Neese said that she does not provide these services on these occasions due to her religious beliefs and the doctor-patient relationship. She also said that she followed a first oath to do no harm.
Board-certified pathologist James Hurly has also encountered situations where he had to tell his patients that they must acknowledge their biological sex. According to the lawsuit, he once had a patient who refused to accept his diagnosis because he identified himself as a woman instead.
In this case, the doctor had to explain to the patient that he was a biological man with a prostate. He also said that he needed to seek immediate medical attention for his condition.
The agency's notice had forced the doctors to provide drugs to individuals who were biologically different from their biological sex. In some cases, they might have also had to fill out a medical chart based on their gender identity instead of physical reality. Doing so would have led to unnecessary suffering and harm to the patient.
The judge's ruling allowed doctors to continue practicing medicine based on their biological facts and to provide the best possible care for their patients. He also ruled that bureaucrats who are not doctors can't force them to provide potentially irreversible treatments to transgender individuals.
Stephen Miller, the president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, called the ruling a victory for the workers. He noted that forcing doctors to provide treatment for individuals who are biologically different from their sex is “anti-science lunacy.”
Miller noted that the ruling was a victory for the workers, as it showed that the government was not able to force doctors to provide treatments that are harmful to their patients. He also said that the actions of the government were in violation of the law. Biden had reportedly ordered doctors to perform procedures such as sterilization and chemical castration on children in order to gain their approval for his agenda.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on PJ Media.