The Health Care Rights Law

Latest Update:

On August 17, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York stayed the Trump Administration’s repeal of the 2016 definitions of “on the basis of sex,” “gender identity,” and “sex stereotyping”. This means that HHS is prohibited from implementing this aspect of the 2020 rule. Separately, on September 2, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columba granted a partial preliminary injunction blocking the final rule’s incorporation of certain religious exemptions as well as the repeal of “sex stereotyping” definition. However, the courts left in place other changes to the rule, including the elimination of notice and language access protections, which went into effect on August 18. As litigation proceeds, we will continue to provide updates regarding changes to the final rule.

Everyone should have the right to be treated with respect by their doctors, receive treatment that fits their needs, and get information in a language they can understand. Yet, 1 in 5 transgender older adults report being refused health care because of their gender identity. Throughout their lives, women, LGBTQ people, and limited English Proficient (LEP) older adults face discrimination in health care settings that leads to poorer health outcomes. The Trump Administration has proposed to eliminate landmark civil rights protections that were enacted under the Health Care Rights Law, also known as Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to combat discrimination in health care settings and to address health disparities these groups face. The final rule that rolls back these protections is set to take effect on August 18, 2020. To date, five lawsuits have been filed challenging the Trump Administration’s changes to the regulations implementing the Health Care Rights Law. We joined an amicus brief in a suit filed in the United States District Court Western District of Washington. See below.

More Information

Q & A: Changes to the Rules Implementing the Health Care Rights Law, August, 2020

Amicus Brief: State of Washington v. US Department of Health and Human Services, et. al., August 14, 2020

Justice in Aging’s Final Comments to HHS

Free Webinar: Changes to the Rule Implementing the Health Care Rights Law and the Impact on Older Adults

Read our statement on how these changes would impact older adults.

Read this fact sheet about the Health Care Rights Law and why proposed changes by the Trump administration to the regulations would be particularly harmful to older adults

Read this fact sheet about why the health care rights law matters for language access.