STATEMENT: Rollback of Health Care Rights Law Is License to Discriminate Against LGBTQ People and Women, CAP’s Winnie Stachelberg Says

Washington, D.C. — Just one week after the House passed the Equality Act, the Trump administration has responded with assaults on the basic rights of LGBTQ people. Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new rule under the Health Care Rights Law, the part of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination to ensure equal access to health care for LGBTQ people, women, and immigrants. The proposed rule is an attempt to roll back critical protections under the Health Care Rights Law that are essential to securing the overall health and well-being of LGBTQ people and women. This move comes just days after the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced plans to roll back protections for transgender people. In response, Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for external affairs at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The proposed rule is yet another attempt by the Trump administration to issue a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people and women. The proposal attempts to strip away protections for patients, making it harder for them to access the health care services they need when they need them. LGBTQ people and women already face barriers to receiving care and the proposal will exacerbate these problems. By diluting and weakening protections from discrimination, patients may get turned away or denied medically necessary care simply because of who they are.

Health care is a basic right and all patients deserve to be treated with professionalism and respect. The administration’s attempt to limit protections for LGBTQ people and women under the Health Care Rights Law is an unfair, targeted attack to marginalize certain patients and is completely contrary to the increasingly inclusive direction of sex discrimination law. The Trump-Pence administration cannot turn back the clock on civil rights protections.

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