New plan targets health care bias against transgender people

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Medicare and Medicaid are the cornerstone of hospital finances. That means transgender people could not be restricted from access to bathrooms or hospital wards consistent with the gender that they identify with, Samuels said.

Most doctors would be covered. Insurers that offer plans through HealthCare.gov would have to comply with the requirements in their plans off the health insurance exchange as well.

The regulation may not be final for many months. The public comment period extends through Nov. 6, and officials are seeking comment on a range of difficult issues, including religious conscience protections for service providers and whether sexual orientation — whether a person is a gay man or a lesbian — should also be protected.

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