Obama-Appointed Judge: Obamacare Allows Transgenders to Sue for Discrimination

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, an Obama appointee on the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, ruled earlier this month that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, allows transgender people to sue if they feel they have been discriminated against by a health care provider.

“Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the ground of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability under ‘any health program or activity, any part of which is receiving Federal financial assistance … or under any program or activity that is administered by an Executive agency or any entity established under [Title I of ACA],’ the HHS Civil Rights Division states on its website.

“Section 1557 is the first Federal civil rights law to prohibit sex discrimination in health care. To ensure equal access to health care, Section 1557 also applies civil rights protections to the newly created Health Insurance Marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act.”

Nelson said transgender people have a right to sue if they believe they have faced discrimination.

There is no mention of “gender identity” in the section, but Nelson ruled in favor of a woman who told doctors at the Fairview Southdale Hospital in Minnesota that she was a man despite the sex listed on her driver’s license and who sued the hospital claiming she was mistreated by doctors and staff.