Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 23 attorneys general in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) regarding a new proposed rule that seeks to enforce Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, age, disability and literacy.
Since its inception in 2016 under the Obama Administration, the rule enforcing Section 1557 has been subject to ongoing litigation. It was most recently rewritten, and effectively weakened, by President Trump in 2020. The proposed rule under the Biden Administration, revises the Trump-era interpretation, and aims to largely reinstate significant aspects of the original 2016 rule.
Among other things, the proposed rule would apply prohibitions against discrimination under Section 1557 to many health insurers and third-party administrators, as well as providers who receive payment through the Medicare Part B program. That includes discrimination against various minority groups, including communities of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, people with pregnancy-related conditions, and people with limited English proficiency.