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Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra on May 5 in Washington, DC. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden administration will reinstate anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, especially transgender people, that had been narrowed under the Trump administration, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra confirmed Monday.

Why it matters: A Trump-era rule that excluded gender identity from sex discrimination protections made it easier for doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to deny transgender people health coverage.

  • The rollback came last June, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to narrow legal protections for LGBTQ people.
  • The new protections will bring the agency's policies in line with a Supreme Court ruling last year that prevents employers from firing employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, HHS said in a press release.

What they're saying: "It simply says what everyone already should know. You should not discriminate against people, that includes those based on sexual orientation or gender identity," Becerra told CNN.

  • "And when it comes to healthcare, we want to make sure that's the case. There was a provision in the Affordable Care Act, which said that, and so now it's clear."
  • "There's no ambiguity. You cannot discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

The big picture: LGBTQ advocates viewed Becerra's confirmation as a win for transgender rights, considering his track record as California's attorney general.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Aug 2, 2021 - Sports

Elite trans athletes decry youth sports bans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TOKYO — While transgender inclusion in elite sports presents some challenging issues, bans on participation in youth sports are simply about hate and cruelty, several top trans athletes told Axios this week.

The big picture: Lawmakers in more than half of the states have considered such bans, and they have been signed into law in at least eight states, though legal challenges remain.

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan police reform negotiations end without deal

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Capitol in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bipartisan talks on reforming police tactics and accountability, prompted by George Floyd's murder in May 2020, have ended without a compromise, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a key negotiator, said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Booker, had been working toward a bipartisan deal for months but things fell apart due to disagreements on qualified immunity and other issues.

Federal Reserve scales back expectations for economic recovery as Delta variant weighs

Fed chair Jerome Powell during a congressional hearing last year. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Fed downgraded near-term expectations for the economy and the labor market, alongside hotter-than-expected inflation, in new estimates out on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the first time those closely-watched estimates reflect impact from the delta variant that's already rattled the labor market. Still, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said enough progress has been made to begin to pull back emergency-era measures that have supported the economy.