Maryland Attorney General Joins Coalition to Protect Access to Gender-Affirming Care

by Patrick Herron

Per the Office of Maryland Attorney General Frosh:
Coalition Files Amicus Brief to Fight Healthcare Discrimination Against Transgender People
BALTIMORE, MD (October 12, 2022) – Maryland Attorney Brian E. Frosh has joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general standing up for transgender rights and equal access to healthcare in filing an amicus brief in Kadel v. Folwell, a case pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The brief supports a group of transgender individuals or parents of transgender individuals who have been denied coverage for gender-affirming care under the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.

“North Carolina’s exclusion of gender-affirming care under its state insurance plan is unconstitutional,” said Attorney General Frosh. “This denial of care is, plain and simple, just an attempt to disenfranchise transgender individuals.”

The brief argues that the Fourth Circuit should affirm a lower court ruling that determined that the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees’ denial of medically necessary, gender- affirming care based on sex violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The coalition argues that discrimination against transgender people violates the Equal Protection Clause because it constitutes discrimination based on sex.

The brief notes the efforts that states joining the filing have made to protect transgender healthcare rights, including prohibiting health care discrimination based on transgender identity and ensuring that state employee healthcare plans cover medically necessary gender-affirming care. These policies have categorically improved the well-being of transgender people, and reduced the risk of suicide, substance abuse, and depression without significantly increasing premium costs or expenses to insurers and plan sponsors.

Joining Attorney General Frosh in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov

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