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A day after the Department of Health and Human Services announced plans to strengthen protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Adm. Rachel L. Levine, assistant secretary for health, said the move represents another important step toward securing more equitable care.

“We had been making progress under the Obama administration but had lost ground in the previous administration,” Levine, the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate for federal office, said in a STATUS List Spotlight series conversation Tuesday. “And it’s great to see us bouncing back.”

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