NHeLP, Justice in Aging, and DREDF File “Friend of the Court” Brief to Protect the ACA’s Anti-Discrimination Provision

NHeLP, Justice in Aging, and DREDF File “Friend of the Court” Brief to Protect the ACA’s Anti-Discrimination Provision

Washington, DC – On September 17, the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), Justice in Aging, and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) submitted an amicus brief in the Southern District of New York on behalf of themselves and 47 partners. The brief supports the State of New York and 22 other states’ motion for partial summary judgment against implementation of the Trump administration’s recently finalized rule to restrict the reach of Section 1557, the Affordable Care Act’s ground-breaking anti-discrimination provision.

The final rule harms the very people that many of the ACA’s reforms were designed to protect. The rule removes critical protections that will impact millions of women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, older adults, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), and individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP).

Our amicus argues that this Trump administration rule ignores the plain language of the ACA and sharply curtails the health care entities that have to comply with the non-discrimination provisions of Section 1557, permitting private insurers and federal agencies to use discriminatory practices the ACA was intended to stop. The rule also removes notice, tagline, and effective communication requirements that enable people with disabilities and LEP to communicate with health care providers and thus avoid delayed care, misdiagnosis, and incorrect treatment.  It also limits timely access to health care for historically marginalized individuals and communities by attempting to incorporate harmful exemptions from statutes not listed in the ACA, including religious exemptions that would allow denials of care to women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities.

The following organizations also signed onto the brief:

American Association of People with Disabilities
American Association on Health & Disability
Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian Resources, Inc.
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform
California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
Center for Civil Justice
Center for Elder Law & Justice
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Medicare Advocacy
Center for Public Representation
Children Now
Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (Delaware)
Disability Law Center of Alaska
Disability Rights California
Disability Rights North Carolina
Disability Rights Wisconsin
Equip for Equality
Georgia Advocacy Office
Health Law Advocates, Inc.
Hispanic Federation
Kentucky Equal Justice Center
Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
Legal Council for Health Justice
Maternal and Child Health Access
Medicare Rights Center
Mississippi Center for Justice
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Council on Aging
National Council on Independent Living
National Council on Interpreting in Health Care
National Federation of the Blind
National Hispanic Council on Aging
National Immigration Law Center
Pennsylvania Health Law Project
Public Citizen Foundation
Public Justice Center
SAGE (Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders)
SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Tennessee Justice Center
Virginia Poverty Law Center
Western Center on Law and Poverty

The National Health Law Program advocates, educates, and litigates at the federal and state levels to protect and advance health care access and the civil rights of low-income people and other underserved groups.

The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund advances the civil and human rights of people with disabilities through legal advocacy, training, education, and public policy and legislative development to ensure all people, with and without disabilities, can live justly and fully included in our communities.

Justice in Aging is a national organization that uses the power of law to fight senior poverty by securing access to affordable health care, economic security, and the courts for older adults with limited resources. Since 1972, we’ve focused our efforts primarily on those who have been marginalized and excluded from justice such as women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people with limited English proficiency.

For additional information contact: Andrew DiAntonio, Director of Communications at NHeLP ([email protected])

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