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Department of Health and Human Services building in Washington, DC. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration is set to propose new rules that would roll back health care protections for transgender people, making it easier for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to deny them coverage by invoking religious reasons, reports the Washington Post.

Details: The administration signaled its intention earlier this month in an ongoing legal challenge in Texas, which seeks to invalidate the Obama-era, anti-discrimination rule that listed gender identity and transgender people as protected classes. Trump’s Health and Human Services Department said in a court filing that the word "sex ... does not refer to gender identity."

The Obama-era rule, intended to help enforce the Affordable Care Act, was blocked in 2016 by a Texas judge. Several Republican-controlled states that filed the suit argue that the policy would force doctors to violate their religious beliefs, and the Texas judge ruled that Congress didn’t intend to protect gender identity.

The big picture: This is the administration's latest effort to roll back already limited protections for LGBTQ Americans, as it seeks to adopt a uniform, legal definition of sex as male or female based on the genitals a person is born with. The federal government has also been changing how transgender people are identified and protected under the law. Less than 2 weeks ago, the administration officially enacted a military transgender ban.

  • There has been long debate over whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to take up 3 cases seeking clarity on this issue.

Go deeper

40 mins ago - Technology
Column / Tech Agenda

The new digital extortion

Shoshana Gordon/Axios

If you run a hospital, a bank, a utility or a city, chances are you'll be hit with a ransomware attack. Given the choice between losing your precious data or paying up, chances are you'll pay.

Why it matters: Paying the hackers is the clear short-term answer for most organizations hit with these devastating attacks, but it's a long-term societal disaster, encouraging hackers to continue their lucrative extortion schemes.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC mask guidance sparks confusion, questions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CDC's surprise guidance last week freeing the fully vaccinated to go maskless sowed plenty of concerns across the country— even earning the "Saturday Night Live" treatment for all the questions it spurred.

Why it matters: With plenty of Americans still unvaccinated — and without any good way to confirm who has been vaccinated — some experts worry this could put many at increased risk.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Israel-Hamas aerial bombardments enter second week

A ball of fire and a plume of smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli forces shell the Palestinian enclave, early on May 17. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

Israel and Hamas continued aerial bombardments into Monday morning, as fighting entered a second week.

Why it matters: The worst violence in the region since 2014 has resulted in the deaths of 197 people in Gaza, ruled by Hamas, and 10 in Israel. 58 Palestinian children and two Israeli children are among those killed since the aerial exchanges began on May 10, Reuters notes.