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CVS Health opposes rule reducing healthcare protections for transgender community


CVS Health is voicing opposition to a rule that was finalized last week by the Department of Health and Human Services that reduces anti-discrimination protections in health care for transgender people.

The rule changed the previous definition for covered healthcare entities of “[discrimination] on the basis of sex” so that the definition no longer includes gender identity.

In addition, the retailer said that it opposed this change when it was proposed in May 2019 and does not plan to change coverage policies to scale back anything based on the new rule.

“We are proud of our long-standing commitment to eliminating discrimination in health care and healthcare coverage, including our commitment to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities,” said Karen Lynch, president, Aetna Business Unit and CVS Health executive vice president. “That commitment isn’t changing; it is a part of our culture and explicit in our corporate policies.”

The retailer remains committed to being an inclusive employer and health care company and does not intend to change its corporate nondiscrimination policy. 

In addition, the company also prohibits discrimination, sexual harassment, and harassment against persons on the basis of ancestry, race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex/gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, medical condition, age, veteran status, military status, marital status, genetic information, citizenship status, unemployment status, political affiliation, or on any other basis or characteristic prohibited by applicable federal, state or local law.

Lastly, CVS Health prohibits retaliation against a colleague for filing or pursuing a bona fide prohibited discrimination or harassment claim or for participating in good faith in an investigation of a prohibited discrimination or harassment claim.

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