Comment Period Open for Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Proposed Rule

June 20, 2019

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a proposed rule to revise regulations implementing and enforcing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs or activities.

Members of the public are invited to submit comments on this proposed rule through August 13, 2019 online via

Comments can also be mailed to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, Attention: Section 1557 NPRM, RIN 0945-AA11, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 509F, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201

Among the questions that the Notice of Proposed Rule Making seeks input on is, "whether HHS's Section 504 regulations at 45 CFR part 85 should be amended to address effective communication, accessibility standards for buildings of facilities, accessibility of electronic information technology, and the requirement to make reasonable modifications for otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance from HHS."


Elizabeth Gaffney - Mon, 08/12/2019 - 20:56

We cannot take away protections for vulnerable individuals. Health care's primary goal should be to cover everyone regardless of any aspect of their status.

Robert C. Snipes Jr. - Mon, 08/12/2019 - 21:24

The proposed changes to Rule 1557 of the Affordable Care Act would remove much need protections for multiple at risk populations including, but not limited to, members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and trans gender). These communities encounter bias and discrimination in obtaining healthcare and the current Rule 1557 provisions require healthcare providers, insurers and other health and human services to remove and bias and barriers to these citizens.

Additionally, removing protections for women who have had abortions will have a similar negative effect on access to healthcare and would increase barriers to receiving equitable treatment.

The language in the current Rule 1557 was specifically designed to broaden protections for vulnerable U.S. citizens, and create greater equality in healthcare and human services. Removing these protections would be a dangerous step backward in the social progress made in recent years.

Richard Jason Nixon - Mon, 08/12/2019 - 21:26

Our nation has made egregious mistakes in the past and has fought diligently to not only repair those mistakes, but learn from them and ensure a just, equitable, and prosperous future for all of our fellow citizens. Discrimination is wrong. Legalizing discrimination is vile.

David Veit - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 06:24

How does denying people care improve health care? Stigmatizing people for their sexual orientation and gender identity then refusing to serve them will not only effect them but everyone. Care will suffer as a result and everyone will fear being stereotyped as someone who goes against the grain.

Joan Verniero - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 07:34

The Section 1557 Proposed Rule is discriminatory. It's an aberration against the Hippocratic oath of physicians. Unthinkable and irreconcilable with basic values and standards of care, both.

Roger Singleton - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 08:31

Please do not change Section 1557 of the ACA.

Susan Bannay - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 08:56

Taking protections from already vulnerable LGBTQ Americans is no only wrong and unfair, it is cruel.

Whitney Thompson - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 11:15

Don't take away protections from already vulnerable LGBTQ individuals. Such an action would be pointlessly cruel and hateful. I feel like y'all know this already, and that's the whole point, but I can't just let it stand without saying something. This is a horrible proposal.

James Clark - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 15:55

Anti-LGBT (anti-Lesbian, -gay, -bisexual, and -transgender) discrimination in healthcare is not only cruel and wrong, it is widespread in the United States, especially in suburban and rural areas. Such discrimination results in poorer health for LGBT people, and it deters them from seeking the medical care they need. It does significant - even life-threatening - harm, and undoing the just and long-standing protections will have a devastating impact on the LGBT community's health and emotional well-being. I urge you to PROTECT all Americans, including LGBT people, from discrimination in healthcare by rejecting the needless and immoral Trump administrations plan to allow, even encourage, discrimination against LGBT Americans. Thank you for considering my deeply-held beliefs.

Suzanne Dunleavy - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 18:15

Please do not remove the definitions section from Section 1557 of the ACA.
The definitions are crucial to the interpretation of this section as it pertains to effective communication section, specifically for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. Leave 92.202 alone and keep the definitions intact.

Last modified on 05/14/2020

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