Proposed changes to federal healthcare law would make discrimination legal.
The Health Care Rights Law, passed as part of the Affordable Care Act, makes it illegal for healthcare providers to discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Providers like health insurers, hospitals, and clinics have had to comply with this law for the last nine years. In 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a rule that strengthened the Health Care Rights Law, empowering all patients to have equitable access to care. The rule established guidelines that restricted discrimination in health care and provided people with remedies if they faced discrimination.
The current administration is currently trying to erase advances made by the 2016 HHS rule. Last month, we shared statements on a rule proposed by the Trump Administration that would threaten the health and well-being of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, including a rule that would allow doctors and insurers to deny care to trans patients. This is just one of the many ways a promoting discrimination in health care.
Here are five ways the Administration is dismantling health care protections:
- Take away protections for the LGBTQ community. The proposed rule does not include gender identity or sex stereotyping when defining sex discrimination. This would allow for healthcare providers to deny care to someone based off of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
- Empowers providers to refuse care based on religious differences. The proposed rule would not require religiously-affiliated providers from abiding with the sex discrimination terms of the Health Care Rights Law. A health care provider could deny someone care because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, if they are having a baby out of wedlock, or if they had an abortion.
- Patients would no longer receive information on their rights. If passed, the proposed rule wouldn’t require that providers and insurers inform people of their rights or how to file a complaint if they are discriminated against.
- Removes reproductive services from health care. If passed, the rule would allow a hospital to refuse to provide care to someone because of a miscarriage or an abortion.
- Non-English speakers and people with disabilities would have more problems accessing care. The rule would not require that health programs notify non-English speakers about language access services, like translators, or services for people with disabilities.
You can help stop the promotion of discrimination in this proposed rule by leaving a public comment before August 13.