Non-discrimination rule threatens civil rights protections for patients

Last month, we shared with readers five ways the federal government is attempting to legalize and empower discrimination in health care. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted a proposed rule change that would roll back guidelines in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) protecting patients from discrimination from health providers and insurers.

This rule, if passed, would drastically harm many of the clients we serve and thousands more across Illinois, including people living with HIV, the LGBTQ community, non-English speakers, people seeking reproductive health services, and more. In a public comment submitted to HHS from Legal Council, we wrote:

The proposed attempts to change the administrative implementation of Section 1557 [of the ACA] poses significant risks to those the law is intended to protect including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people; people who need reproductive health care, including abortion; women of color; people living with disabilities and/or chronic conditions; and people whose primary language is not English – all people who already experience significant barriers to accessing health care. The proposed changes will create additional barriers for people in these vulnerable groups and lead to worse physical and mental health outcomes throughout our communities.

Read our full comment here.

While the comment period for this rule has closed, Legal Council will continue to fight for the safety and rights of Illinoisans. Stay tuned for more updates to come.