WASHINGTON – Earlier this year, the Trump Administration issued a proposed rule that would roll back enforcement of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, also known as the Health Care Rights Law. Section 1557 protects patients from discrimination based on race, color, sex, age and disability. Yesterday, August 13, the public comment period on the proposed rule concluded.

“The proposed rollback on Section 1557 protections is part of the continued efforts from the Trump Administration to take away patients’ rights,” said Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. “Working with our network of community partners, we collected more than 132,400 comments. If enacted, providers, insurance companies, hospitals and others will be able to discriminate among patients.”

If finalized, the rule would harm LGBTQ+ people, people who have had or will need abortion care and other reproductive health services, people whose first language is not English, immigrants, people of color and people with disabilities.

“One-third of Asian Americans are limited English proficient (LEP) and 60 percent of the community are immigrant. Section 1557 protections strengthen language access requirements under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – long-standing protections for minority and immigrant communities. Having strong 1557 protections will ensure meaningful access for LEP persons when accessing critical health services,” said Ko Chin.

APIAHF and its partners are committed to fighting back against the Trump Administration’s regressive policies. We firmly believe that access to health care is a fundamental right, and we will continue to advocate for the best interest of our communities during this siege against the health and well-being of so many Americans.

APIAHF has also prepared additional materials on the language access components of Section 1557: factsheet, infographic, Health Affairs blog by Kathy Ko Chin on the importance of language access, and APIAHF’s comments, which include many stories collected from community-based organization partners.

Health Care Rights Law Coalition Members:
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Center for American Progress
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Reproductive Rights
Equality Federation
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
Lambda Legal
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Council of Jewish Women
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Health Law Program
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Law Center
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
PFLAG National
Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need
TransChance Health
Transgender Law Center
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund
The Leadership Conference Education Fund
Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights