The Leadership Conference Applauds Crucial Update to Regulations Implementing Affordable Care Act Provision Prohibiting Discrimination in Health Care

Health Care News 04.29,24

Contact: Mattie Goldman, [email protected]

WASHINGTONJesselyn McCurdy, executive vice president for government affairs at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement on the Department of Health and Human Services’ update to regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act: 

“Health care is a human right. Every person in our nation should be free to safely access health care without fear of discrimination or harassment. We applaud this announcement, which builds upon the Biden administration’s efforts to ensure that everyone in America has access to quality, affordable health care. The Leadership Conference and our coalition played a critical role in ensuring the inclusion of Section 1557 in the Affordable Care Act and have long advocated for its full and complete implementation. 

“Given the pervasive legacy of discrimination in health care systems, Section 1557 has represented a significant step toward rectifying centuries of practices that have created disparities in health care access and outcomes for underserved communities, including people of color, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals, older adults and children, and people at the intersection of multiple identities. This update undoes harmful regulations from the Trump era and better protects patients from systemic discrimination in our health care system. The updated regulations provide stronger legal protections for those who may face discrimination from providers because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, for example, or for patients of color who may experience discrimination through the use of clinical algorithms. The administration has also rightly recognized that many patients are part of multiple protected communities and, as a result, face intersecting forms of discrimination. However, we recognize there is more work to be done to protect and prevent against discrimination in health care in the wake of continued attacks on our civil rights. 

“We thank Secretary Becerra and the Biden administration for their commitment to the health and well-being of the communities our coalition represents. We look forward to robust implementation and enforcement of this essential civil rights protection.”

In 2023, The Leadership Conference sent a letter to the administration calling for an update to regulations implementing Section 1557 and in October 2022 submitted comments on behalf of more than 100 organizations in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 250 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit