Susan Collins vows to overturn Trump rule rolling back LGBT patients’ protections

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsEurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings Republicans prepare to punt on next COVID-19 relief bill Trump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans MORE (R-Maine) announced Saturday she would work to overturn Trump Administration’s new rule rolling back LGBT patients’ protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

“The Trump Administration’s decision to eliminate protections for transgender patients is simply wrong. I’ll work to overturn this discriminatory policy,” Collins tweeted.

The announcement comes one day after the the administration said it would abandon Obama Adminstration nondiscrimination protections for the LGBT community under the Affordable Care Act. 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a statement Friday announcing the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination would be based on “the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”

Health groups and LGBT advocates alike have said the latest interpretation to the discrimination policy would make it easier for hospitals, doctors and insurance companies to deny healthcare coverage to transgender and nonbinary patients, as well as women who have had abortions.

Collins’s statement comes as the veteran senator, who has held her office since 1997, prepares for what is probably the most enduring reelection campaign of her career. 

According to RealClearPolitics, her Democratic opponent, state House Speaker Sara Gideon, is running neck-and-neck with Collins in the polls.

Collins has received harsh criticism in 2018 after the moderate lawmaker voted to confirm then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughDemocrats warn Biden against releasing SCOTUS list GOP senators urge Trump to back off Murkowski threat Judd Gregg: A government in free fall MOREThe incumbent senator has also faced significant criticism for her vote to acquit the president during the Senate impeachment trial earlier this year. 

Collins recently joined other GOP led voices in criticizing the forced removal of peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square during demonstrations that ensued in the District at the beginning of the month. Federal law enforcement used chemical irritants, flash-bangs and rubber bullets to remove demonstrators from the area. 

In 2014, Collins announced her support for gay marriage following her endorsement by an LGBT advocacy group and, in 2019, opposed one of Trump’s supreme court nominees, Matthew Kacsmaryk, for his alleged record of opposing LGBT rights, according to The Washington Post.

The rule was released during Pride Month, though the administration has been working on this rule for over a year. 

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