HHS Eliminates or Weakens Regulatory Protections Against Discrimination in Health Care

Executive Summary

As part of its ongoing attacks on health care and civil rights, the Trump administration recently finalized drastic changes to regulations implementing Section 1557, the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provision. Section 1557 provides important protections against discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin (including language access), sex, age, and disability. In the final rule, the administration seeks to roll back many of these protections. However, the administration cannot repeal a law through regulations. Persons who experience discrimination in health care programs or activities are still protected. This issue brief provides an overview of important changes to the Section 1557 implementing regulations, and how they may affect key populations. The final section shares how individuals who encounter health care discrimination can enforce their rights through administrative and judicial complaints.

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