Attorney General Paxton joined a Tennessee-led comment letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra demanding that HHS scrap its proposed rule, which expands Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act far beyond what was ever intended.  

Section 1557 prohibits discrimination “on the basis of sex.” The proposed HHS rule would radically change the long-understood definition of “sex,” which has been based on biology, to include “gender identity” or “sexual orientation.” This presents many problems, such as putting free speech at risk, threatening religious liberty, and potentially stripping billions of dollars from states that do not agree with the Biden Administration’s emphasis on redefining biological reality.  

The proposed rule is also unlawful, as HHS has previously conceded. Multiple courts have struck down the Biden Administration’s attempts to codify their woke gender ideology by redefining “sex.” This includes a recent decision by a federal district in favor of Texas, in Attorney General Paxton’s suit against the Biden Administration over its attempt to force the state to make school bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower usage accessible to members of the opposite sex based on “gender identity.” 

“For reasons evident in Section 1557’s plain text and statutory context—and for reasons that HHS identified in 2020 and the reviewing court recognized in 2016—the Proposed Rule’s attempts to contort Congress’s demands are unlawful,” the letter reads. “Thus, without substantial alteration, the Proposed Rule will join a long list of unlawful agency actions.” 

To read the full letter, click here.