FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2022
K Richardson, Communications Manager | [email protected]
TLC to Push for Stronger Healthcare Discrimination Protections from Biden Administration
NATIONAL – On Monday, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) announced a proposed rule that would substantially strengthen protections against discrimination in accessing healthcare. While the proposed rule is open for public comment, the Rollback Rule issued under the Trump Administration that gutted Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act is still in the books.
“Across our races, backgrounds and genders, we want to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center (TLC). “The vulnerability and urgency experienced when accessing medical care heightens the need for protections from discrimination, especially for trans and intersex people. This proposed rule is a welcome move away from the toxicity of the Rollback Rule. However, given the current political climate of attacks on abortion access, access to gender-affirming care, and impact of COVID-19 on already under-resourced communities, including Black and Indigenous people and disabled communities, the final rule by the Biden Administration can and should do more, starting with more explicit protections for people seeking to terminate a pregnancy.”
In July 2020, Transgender Law Center (TLC) National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) of Harvard Law School, and law firm Hogan Lovells filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s Rollback Rule on behalf of plaintiffs Darren Lazor, The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (BAGLY), Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Campaign for Southern Equality, Equality California, Fenway Health, and Transgender Emergency Fund.
Dale Melchert, a staff attorney with TLC, calls this next stage in the fight for protecting access to healthcare for all, “in part a result of our lawsuit and advocacy done during the Rollback Rule comment period that raised the ways in which the Trump Administration put lives at risk, especially those of trans people living with HIV, Black trans people and people of color, trans people with disabilities, and trans people living in rural areas and in Southern states.” While the new rule substantially strengthens protections against discrimination, Melchert adds that “until we have a final rule, we will keep fighting.”
The proposed rule will now go through a 60-day public comment period. Transgender Law Center, National Center for Transgender Equality, and Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund have partnered to encourage the public, particularly trans people and our allies, to #ProtectTransHealth by submitting a comment in support of the most protective interpretation of Section 1557. To learn more, visit www.protecttranshealth.org.