Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, and Philanthropy California are united in opposition to the proposed changes to Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. LGBTQ people, immigrants, and people seeking reproductive care will be hurt by these proposed changes. As philanthropic serving organizations dedicated to the health and wellbeing of these communities, and social justice values more broadly, we are speaking out and taking action.
Less than a year ago, our networks mobilized our memberships to oppose harmful changes in federal policy that put the safety and wellbeing of millions of immigrant children and families living in the United States at risk. In support of the Protecting Families Campaign and the Keeping Families Together Campaign, we publicly opposed two proposed rules that threatened the stability and health of immigrant families. Today in light of these proposed changes to Section 1557, we are looking to members once more to defend the rights of LGBTQ people, immigrants, and people in need of reproductive care.
Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the nondiscrimination provision, intended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in healthcare settings and health insurance provisions. Section 1557’s protections were explicitly intended to extend not only to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, but to those of all gender identities – including binary, non-binary transgender, and gender non-conforming people. It also explicitly protected immigrants.
Now the Trump Administration is seeking to reverse those protections and insert a broad religious exemption that would allow medical providers to substitute their personal beliefs for their professional obligations, and decide whom they will serve. This could result in a wide range of people being turned away from life-saving care: LGBTQ people, unmarried people, or people who have had an abortion or need one.
Moreover, they are seeking to eliminate the mandate that discrimination based on immigration status is prohibited and remove the requirement that health programs post notices about the availability of language access programs. This will make it much harder for people with limited English proficiency or disabilities to access medical care.
We ardently disagree with these proposed changes and as such are inviting our members to join us in taking action. We are encouraging our members to:
- Submit unique comments opposing the HHS rule to the Federal Register by Tuesday August 13, 2019 11:59 pm EST. Please note: Submitting comments as part of the rule-making process is not lobbying and permissible for private foundations. For a comment template and other resources, please visit Funders for LGBTQ Issues.
- Speak out in other ways against the threats to our immigrants, LGBTQ people, and people seeking reproductive care.