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May 21, 2019

Gov. Cuomo moves to bolster protections for transgender New Yorkers ahead of possible Obamacare repeal

June 24, 2018
Gov. Cuomo is rolling out measures designed to help ensure transgender New Yorkers will be able to access quality health care. (Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News)

Seeking to blunt the effects of a potential Obamacare repeal, Gov. Cuomo is rolling out measures to protect transgender New Yorkers’ access to health care.

Cuomo will announce Sunday that he’s directing state health officials to issue a regulation requiring all New York hospitals to update their patient rights statements to prohibit discrimination against transgender people.

The governor is also directing the state Department of Financial Services to beef up protections for transgender people seeking access to health insurance beyond the Affordable Care Act’s core measures to prevent discrimination.

“New York was founded upon the principles of fairness and equality and we won’t stand idly by while Washington seeks to claw back hard-earned rights and protections,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo cast the moves as vital to safeguard the health of transgender New Yorkers as the Trump administration ramps up its efforts to dismantle key parts of Obamacare.

The Justice Department earlier this month signaled that it believes the law’s requirement to carry health insurance, as well as its provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions, are unconstitutional.

State officials say rollbacks could leave transgender patients especially vulnerable.

“There is no place in the health-care delivery system for discrimination of any kind,” said state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. “New York State stands with transgender people and in opposition to any action to limit their rights to high-quality medical care.”

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