Biden Administration Will Enforce Nondiscrimination Protections in Health Care
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that the Office for Civil Rights will enforce Section 1557 prohibitions on health care discrimination based on sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
The announcement represents a change in position from the previous administration, which had adopted rules that attempted to allow health care providers to deny care to transgender people.
Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as the Health Care Rights Law, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, age or disability in health care programs or activities. It is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit discrimination based on sex in health care.
“Today’s announcement will save lives. It shows once again that the Biden administration is committed to improving the lives of transgender people and ensuring that we can receive the health care we need without fear of discrimination,” said Mara Keisling, executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality. “As the US Supreme Court made clear in its Bostock v. Clayton County decision, discrimination against transgender people is illegal.”
NCTE led opposition to the Trump administration’s effort to reverse non-discrimination protections for transgender people through rulemaking, organizing health care providers to oppose the changes, and mobilizing massive public response through over 130,000 public comments.