On June 15, the Trump Administration ruled that they will roll back protections given by the Affordable Care Act 1557, which prohibits federally-funded health institutions from discriminating against patients due to their race, color, national origin, sex, disabilities, or age. With this protection gone, hospitals could deny care to patients that they disagree with, whether the person is transgender, had an abortion, doesn’t speak English, or any other arbitrary reason the hospital comes up with. In the midst of a global pandemic, this could mean thousands of unnecessary deaths for minority groups.
A ruling like this isn’t about to pass without a fight.
A coalition of 23 Democratic State Attorneys are suing the Trump Administration in hopes of protecting the ACA 1557. Led by New York Attorney General Letita James, the lawsuit argues that this ruling violates the protections elaborated in the 5th Amendment.
The lawsuit also argues that the Trump Administration has failed to fully communicate why this change is being made in the first place, and why it’s being done in the middle of a pandemic. Massachusetts General Healy states that “The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting some of our most vulnerable residents, yet this White House is moving forward with a rule that puts these communities at even further risk.”
“It is never acceptable to deny health care to Americans who need it, but it is especially egregious to do so in the middle of a pandemic. For more than a decade, the ACA has provided tens of millions of Americans with quality, affordable health coverage, which is why we will use every tool at our disposal to stop the Trump Administration from taking us backwards.”Letitia James
Joining James in the lawsuit are attorneys from the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. Washington state also submitted a separate lawsuit in regard to the ruling on Friday.