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Affordable Care Act Revised Protections

By Charlotte Robinson, April 27, 2024

The Biden Administration has released updated regulations implementing section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibiting sex discrimination in health care federally. This rule ensures that health care providers & insurers are aware of their obligations & that patients can access the care they need. The revised updated rule restores explicit protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, transgender status & other sex-based characteristics as well as pregnancy & related medical conditions. Cait Smith, Director of LGBTQI+ Policy at the Center for American Progress stated, “Codifying nondiscrimination protections under Section 1557 will ensure LGBTQI+ Americans can visit a doctor for a checkup or receive a cancer screening without fear of discrimination. By finalizing this landmark rule, the Biden administration & HHS make clear that no one seeking health care should be treated differently by medical providers due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or pregnancy status. Everyone deserves the same access to health care without fear of discrimination. This rule is a major win not only for the LGBTQI+ community but also for everyone seeking access to health care. Julianna Gonen, NCLR’s Federal Policy Director concluded, “We know from decades of research & from members of our community who reach out through NCLR’s Legal Help Line, that LGBTQ people are routinely denied medical care or mistreated by health care providers simply because of who they are & recent moves by many states to restrict access to transgender medical care have made matters much worse. We commend the Biden Administration for issuing these important regulations that make clear that federal law protects LGBTQ people & those accessing essential reproductive care.”

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