Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits covered health care providers and insurers from discriminating against anyone based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Additional regulatory language expanded the definition of discrimination based on sex to include discrimination based on gender identity. In addition, the current regulations require covered entities to inform people with limited English proficiency about language assistance services using taglines provided in the top 15 languages spoken in their state.
On May 24, 2019, the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services issued a proposed rule that would make substantial revisions to Section 1557 by eliminating the regulatory definition of sex discrimination and removing the prohibitions on discriminating based on gender identity. The proposed rule would also eliminate requirements around providing non-English taglines.
NACDD submitted comments on the proposed rule to bring attention to the affect these changes would have on barriers to preventive care as well as ensuring equitable access to health care. All people should have access to preventive health care services in order to prevent the development of chronic disease, and these changes will negatively impact the ability of vulnerable populations to get the preventive care they need.
NACDD and our Members are dedicated to identifying and working together with vulnerable and at-risk populations and creating and maintaining conditions that allow everyone to reach their full health potential. NACDD remains committed to ensuring broad and equitable access to programs and services that promote health.