The Department of Health and Human Services today released a proposed rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age and disability in certain health programs and activities. According to HHS, the proposed rule restores and strengthens civil rights protections for patients and consumers in certain federally funded health programs after a 2020 version of the rule limited its scope and power to cover fewer programs and services. Specifically, HHS said the rule affirms protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity, consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Bostock v. Clayton County, and reiterates protections from discrimination for seeking reproductive health care services.

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