July 25, 2022

Christopher Vasquez | NCLR Director of Communications
cvasquez@nclrights.org | 415-365-1337

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Issues Critical Nondiscrimination Rule

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Center for Lesbian Rights applauds today’s issuance of new proposed federal regulations that will restore essential nondiscrimination protections in health care, as required by federal law. These regulations make clear that section 1557 – the groundbreaking provision in the Affordable Care Act barring discrimination in health care based on sex – protects LGBTQ people from mistreatment by health care providers and insurers. 

While regulations to implement this provision issued by the Obama Administration made this explicit, new rules issued by the Trump Administration in 2020 literally erased LGBTQ people from the regulations and added sweeping religious exemptions for health care providers who wished to turn people away. Today’s rule reinstates those critical protections and adds important new ones, by extending the rule to additional HHS programs like Medicare Part B and making clear that reproductive health care is covered.

“This new proposed rule from HHS is a great step forward. The ACA’s core promise of health care for all, free from discrimination, has been stymied by those – including the prior administration – who would deny care to LGBTQ people simply because of who they are. We are thrilled to see that the Biden Administration intends to implement section 1557, the ACA’s nondiscrimination provision, consistent with federal sex and religious liberty discrimination law and without creating sweeping new exemptions that would endanger healthcare for all. We support the proposed rule enthusiastically and look forward to its final adoption.”

Julianna S. Gonen, NCLR Federal Policy Director


The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community’s most vulnerable. www.nclrights.org