Apr 22, 2018

Trump admin wants to roll back health rules for underrepresented groups

Demonstrators marching for LGBTQ rights carry rainbow flags past the White House. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The Trump administration has plans to reverse Obama-era health care rules that currently protect transgender individuals from discrimination and decades-old exemptions that shelter Native Americans from certain burdensome federal health requirements.

Why it matters: These health moves would target two of the nation's most underrepresented and vulnerable communities.

The administration is planning to end a rule created under the Obama administration that prohibits doctors, hospitals and insurers from discriminating against transgender individuals, reports the New York Times.

  • The big picture: The rule is tied to a civil rights measure within the Affordable Care Act that outlaws discrimination based on race, sex, age, national origin or disability at any health organization that receives government funds. A rollback of the rule would affect almost every doctor's office in the country.

The Department of Health and Human Services is also considering enforcing Medicaid work rules for Native Americans in states that choose to implement work requirements to access Medicaid, Politico reports. Three states have already begun putting Medicaid work requirements in place and at least 10 others are expected to apply.

  • The big picture: The Trump administration says these exemptions constitute illegal preferential treatment and "contends the tribes are a race rather than separate governments."
  • The history: "Tribal leaders...say there are precedents for health care exceptions. Native Americans don’t have to pay penalties for not having health coverage under Obamacare’s individual mandate, for instance."
  • The state of play: "The tribes insist that any claim of 'racial preference' is moot because they’re constitutionally protected as separate governments, dating back to treaties hammered out by President George Washington and reaffirmed in recent decades under Republican and Democratic presidents alike, including the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations."

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Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices are in correction, down over 10% from recent record-highs, amid a global market rout. It's the S&P 500's quickest decline into correction territory in the index's history, per Deutsche Bank.

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.