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Restoring LGBTQ Healthcare Protections

By Charlotte Robinson, July 26, 2022

The Biden administration has issued a new rule under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 1557 that prohibits discrimination in federally funded health programs & facilities. In 2020 the Trump administration literally erased LGBTQ people from the regulations & added sweeping religious exemptions for healthcare providers who wished to turn people away. Biden’s rule reinstates those critical protections & adds additional HHS programs like Medicare Part B & making clear that reproductive healthcare is covered. Julianna S. Gonen, NCLR Federal Policy Director stated, “This new proposed rule from HHS is a great step forward. The ACA’s core promise of healthcare for all, free from discrimination, has been stymied by those – including the prior administration – who would deny care to LGBTQ people simply because of who they are. We are thrilled to see that the Biden Administration intends to implement section 1557, the ACA’s nondiscrimination provision, consistent with federal sex & religious liberty discrimination law & without creating sweeping new exemptions that would endanger healthcare for all. We support the proposed rule enthusiastically & look forward to its final adoption.” Nicole Lee Ndumele, Senior Vice President for Rights & Justice at the Center for American Progress concluded, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s egregious decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has not only denied the right to an abortion but also put a variety of privacy & bodily autonomy rights at risk. Robust action such as these go far to protecting individuals’ rights to make critical decisions about their health & futures. Amid persistent attacks by MAGA extremists against LGBTQI+ rights & attempts to ban transgender people from accessing best-practice healthcare, we applaud the Biden administration for upholding these explicit civil rights protections in the country’s landmark healthcare law.” 

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