The mainstream media is at it again.
Last week, practically in unison, countless major outlets reported that the Trump administration erased an Obama-era rule that protected transgender patients against discrimination by doctors, hospitals, and health insurance companies.
“The Trump administration finalized a rule to erase Obama-era protections for transgender patients facing discrimination in health care” is how the (failing) New York Times reported it on Twitter. MSNBC reported that the administration “finalized [their] rollback of protections against gender identity discrimination.” “Under the new Trump rule, a transgender person could, for example, be refused care for a checkup at a doctor’s office, explains one expert” claimed the hysterics over at NPR. The ACLU uncritically claimed that the Trump administration “issued a rule that will embolden health care discrimination against transgender people.”
I could quote hundreds more, but all reported the story more-or-less identically. And they’re all identically wrong.
As Kevin Ryan of Unbiased America explained:
The rule “protecting transgender patients” had never gone into effect. The Obama administration tried to put it into place in 2016, but it was immediately overturned in court.
The 2010 Affordable Care Act barred any health program that received federal dollars from discriminating on the basis of sex. In 2016, the Obama administration reinterpreted the provision about sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.” That interpretation could have, among other things, required health care providers and insurers to provide treatment such as sex reassignment surgery to transgender patients.
However, it never went into effect, because the rule was immediately overturned in court before President Trump even came into office.. And it was again vacated in 2019 after more appeals and challenges
Today, the Trump administration said it would abide by the original wording of Obamacare, which defined ‘sex’ as meaning male or female determined by biology instead of the interpretation that never went into effect and was blocked in court.
Even the New York Times had to admit once you read past their headline that the repeal “does not have any immediate practical effects.”
Despite this, nearly every mainstream media outlet uniformly presented this as the Trump administration rolling back protections against discrimination, with CNN even saying that the move was done “on the four-year anniversary of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were killed at a popular LGBTQ venue in Orlando.”
Furthermore, as transgender commentator Blaire White writes:
As Director of the Office for Civil Rights Roger Severino puts it, transgender people are already protected by various statutes that prevent discrimination in health care. “Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and according to the law. Our dedication to our civil rights laws is as strong as ever.”
While it’s perfectly valid to hold the opinion that the guidance that was struck down should be put into law, it is intellectually dishonest to run with the narrative that it was intentionally repealed by Trump to cause pain in the LGBT community. You cannot repeal something that was never there to begin with.
It is notable to state that the gravity of emotional manipulation on the LGBT community at the hands of the media. The media chose the four-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shootings to blast this story out, causing mass hysteria and heartache.
It’s hard to tell if this is a case of fake news, or hysterical agenda-driven news. Perhaps both.