Conservative Roger Severino, an outspoken advocate against abortion and same-sex marriage, now leads the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, which will likely shape the future of two of the most critical aspects of American health care: abortion and contraception access and LGBT rights, reports Emma Green.
“The media spends a lot of time tracking Donald Trump’s every move and chasing down members of Congress, but much of governing happens in these bland halls,” says Green.
OCR is the government office for investigating civil-rights violations in health-care, notes Green, “including discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, and national origin.”
Under Obama, HHS faced religious objections to the ACA’s requirement that most employers cover birth control in their insurance plans, and OCR responded by developing strict requirements that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.
Under the Trump administration, “Severino’s office could roll back many of these Obama-era changes, and early evidence suggests this is a priority,” Green warns.