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Susan Collins Criticizes Trump's Reversal On Transgender Healthcare Protections

Al Drago
Collins speaks during a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing to examine implementation of Title I of the CARES Act, Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Two members of Maine's congressional delegation criticized a decision Friday by President Donald Trump to eliminate protections for transgender patients.

Sen. Susan Collins said Saturday in a tweet that the decision, which overturns an Obama-era protection against healthcare discrimination, was “simply wrong.”

On Friday, U.S. Rep Chellie Pingree tweeted that the reversal was “shameful.”

“No one should fear seeking health care because they may be discriminated against based on who they are or the care they need,” Pingree wrote. “I’ll keep fighting this Admin’s bigoted attacks on LGBTQ people.”

On Friday, the Trump administration finalized a rule that overturns Obama-era protections for transgender people against sex discrimination in health care. The Department of Health and Human Services said it will enforce sex discrimination protections “according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology,” rewriting an Obama-era regulation that sought a broader understanding shaped by a person’s internal sense of being male, female, neither or a combination.

The decision has been met with support from social conservatives, who opposed the Obama Administration’s prior policy change.

LGBTQ advocates have decried Trump’s move, saying explicit that transgender patients need explicit protections in order to seek sex-reassignment treatment, but also in order to receive basic care for common illnesses such as diabetes or heart problems.

As of Saturday afternoon, neither Sen. Angus King nor U.S. Rep. Jared Golden has issued any statements about the Trump administration’s decision.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.