Health Professional Associations Oppose DHHS Plans to Change Gender Identify Protections Under Section 1557
June 12, 2019   

On May 24, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) proposed a major change to the administrative rule interpreting Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to remove explicit protections for LGBTQ people in healthcare programs and activities by excluding protections from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity.

Section 1557 of the ACA is the primary anti-discrimination provision in the ACA. Currently, it prohibits health programs or facilities that receive federal funds from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. An individual cannot be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination on these bases by any health program or activity of which any part receives federal financial assistance.

In response, GLMA and the American Psychiatric Association organized a letter supporting nondiscrimination protections and opposes modifications to Section 1557 that would “weaken protections and thereby jeopardize the health and well-being of LGBQT populations”. The letter was sent to DHHS Secretary Alex Azar on 5/24/19 and was signed by the following 31 leading healthcare professional associations listed below.

  • American Academy of Nursing
  • American Academy of PAs
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Academy of Psychiatry and The Law
  • American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
  • American College Health Association
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Medical Association
  • American Medical Student Association
  • American Medical Women’s Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Pediatric Surgical Association
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Public Health Association
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
  • Doctors for America
  • Endocrine Society
  • GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
  • HIV Medicine Association
  • LGBT Physician Assistant Caucus
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National Council for Behavioral Health
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
  • Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
  • Society of General Internal Medicine
  • Society of Physician Assistants in Pediatrics
  • The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists
  • United States Professional Association for Transgender Health
  • World Professional Association for Transgender Health

Click here to see the full letter and list of signatories.

For information from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Department of Health and Human Services Press Release
Click to read the Proposed Regulation on Section 1557 and for instructions on submitting comments
Click to read the proposed regulation Factsheet on Section 1557 - PDF

Keep Up-To-Date:

This Month in Psychopharmacology