How Federal Anti-Discrimination Protections Are Under Threat — Again
By Planned Parenthood Action Fund | July 15, 2019, 2:37 p.m.
The Trump-Pence administration is trying to roll back anti-discrimination protections for transgender patients and people who’ve had abortions.
In May, the Trump-Pence administration released a proposed rule intended to undermine the Health Care Rights Law, a non-discrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act.. The proposed rule would roll back protections for transgender people and people who’ve had abortions.
Why Does the Health Care Rights Law Matter?
The Health Care Rights Law, aka Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, prohibits discrimination by certain entities against patients on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, and disability status. The Obama administration ensured that the law:
prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or sex stereotyping;
prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, including termination of pregnancy;
requires certain language access and interpretation services for people with limited English proficiency; and
prohibits plans from discriminating against people with chronic illnesses.
This law was a HUGE step toward achieving health equity for communities nationwide, including women, people of color, immigrant communities, and LGBTQ people — but now, the Trump-Pence administration is trying to roll that progress back.
Who Would the Trump-Pence Administration’s Proposed Rule Affect?
The Trump-Pence administration’s proposed rule would undo crucial protections set out by the Health Care Rights Law, disproportionately affecting communities that already face barriers to access health care.
Transgender People: The proposed rule could undermine health care access and coverage for transgender people, as well as lesbian, gay, and bisexual people — members of communities that already face discrimination. Over 30 percent of transgender people report experiencing discrimination in health care, and nearly 90 percent believe there are not enough properly trained health care workers to care for them.
People Who’ve Had Abortions: The rule, if finalized, would remove specific protections that prohibit discrimination against people based on termination of pregnancy. Additionally, the proposed rule applies a religious exemption that puts the personal beliefs of providers over a patient’s health care.
Immigrant Communities & People with Limited English Proficiency: If finalized, the rule would scale back requirements that health care entities inform people with limited English proficiency about language-access services. The health care system is already hard to understand , and this rule would only make it harder.
As health care providers, our first responsibility is always to our patients. By proposing to roll back critical protections that prevent discrimination against transgender people and people who have had abortion care, the Trump-Pence administration would — again — put their health and well-being at risk.– Dr. Leana Wen
President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Tags: Abortion, Affordable Care Act, Health Care, Discrimination, Immigrants, Transgender People