By Consumers for Quality Care, on October 3, 2022
For Immediate Release
October 3, 2022
Consumers for Quality Care Urges Approval of Rule to Reinstate Critical Nondiscrimination Protections in the Affordable Care Act
More than a dozen consumer and patient-focused organizations sent letter in support of proposed rule to reinstate essential Obama-era policies
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) and 13 consumer and patient-focused organizations sent a letter in support of a proposed rule that would restore critical nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.
In 2020, the Trump administration eliminated language from Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) designed to support nondiscrimination in health care. The proposed rule to amend Section 1557 would reinstate explicit nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people and expand the law’s ban on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy-related conditions. The proposed rule also includes language to help protect nondiscriminatory access to telehealth services.
In the letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the organizations write:
In addition to finalizing the proposed rule with the aforementioned provisions, CQC encourages HHS to further define and enforce nondiscrimination principles in federally funded and administered health care programs and activities. Preventative care, including comprehensive drug coverage for the prevention and treatment of disease, is essential in the fight against chronic disease. It is imperative that the administration protects access to that care to not only help reduce health care costs and medical debt for consumers, but also to support the overarching health and wellbeing of our communities.
The proposed revisions to Section 1557 will help to alleviate equity issues seen throughout the health care system. Health plans currently offered are often designed to discourage individuals with increased health needs from enrolling, disproportionately affecting disabled and minority patients. In light of this, CQC and the letter’s other signatories urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to move swiftly to finalize the proposed rule and reinstate essential provisions that protect consumers against discrimination in health care and support improved access to essential medical services.
To read the full letter, click here.
Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) is a coalition of advocates and former policymakers working to provide a voice for patients in the health care debate as they demand better care. CQC is led by a board of directors that includes the Honorable Donna Christensen, physician and former Member of Congress; Jim Manley, former senior advisor to Senators Edward Kennedy and Harry Reid; Jason Resendez, community advocate and health care strategist; and Mary L. Smith, former CEO of the Indian Health Service.