On Monday, July 25, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposed rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rule restores and strengthens protections for LGBTQ+ patients following a 2020 rule which rolled back key protections in the ACA.
"On Monday, the Biden administration took actions to help fulfill the promises of the Affordable Care Act—actions that have long been central to GLMA’s policy agenda. We applaud HHS’s proposed rule to reinstate and significantly broaden federal regulations that protect LGBTQ+ patients from discrimination in healthcare, including explicit protections for intersex people.
"Among other provisions, the proposed regulations make clear that the definition of “sex” discrimination under ACA Section 1557 is broad enough to protect our LGBTQ+ community comprehensively. The proposed rule ensures that protections against “sex” discrimination include discrimination based on sex characteristics, intersex traits, and pregnancy and pregnancy termination, and align with federal court decisions prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The proposed rule also broadens coverage of nondiscrimination provisions to Medicare Part B and strengthens services for people with limited English proficiency.
"This comprehensive rule is a much-needed move towards ensuring LGBTQ+ health and wellbeing. When the public comment period on the new regulations opens, the expert voices of health professionals who oppose healthcare discrimination will be vital. To learn how to share a comment in support of the rule, visit the #ProtectTransHealth campaign by our friends at the National Center for Transgender Equality, Transgender Law Center, and Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund."