Austin/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on June 11, 2024
Texas Attorney General Sues Biden's HHS to Block Rule on Gender Transition ProceduresSource: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton initiated a legal battle against the Biden Administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), challenging a new rule tied to "gender transition" procedures. As reported by the Texas Attorney General's Office, the lawsuit, which includes Montana, asserts that the administration's rule coerces healthcare providers to perform and states to fund these procedures through Medicaid.

May saw the promulgation of this contested HHS rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, designed to seemingly ensure that refusals by medical institutions to perform the procedures could result in the loss of federal healthcare dollars, including Medicaid and Medicare. Paxton has deemed the regulation both unconstitutional and an overreach of federal power, as it seeks to supersede state laws that prohibit these procedures.

Paxton has been vocal in his opposition, stating, "This is yet another example of Joe Biden trying to sidestep the Constitution and use agency rulemaking to advance unpopular, unlawful, and destructive policies." He has requested the court for an injunction to halt the enforcement of the HHS rule, suggesting it stems from a misinterpretation of the ACA's authority and the government's role in medical procedures.

The rule has sparked debate and controversy as it collides with the principles of state sovereignty and medical ethics. Paxton argues that not only does it incorrectly apply ACA guidelines, but it also puts healthcare providers in a challenging position when federal directives clash with state legislation. The suit claims to protect medical professionals from having to perform procedures they deem experimental or dangerous involuntarily.

While the Biden Administration has yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit, the issue remains a flashpoint in the ongoing discourse over government intervention in healthcare and LGBTQ+ rights. With legal proceedings only just beginning, stakeholders on both sides are bracing for an extended showdown in the courts regarding the balance between federal directives, state laws, and personal medical decisions.