CSMS, OHA, and OHS Join Forces to Defend the Health Care Rights of the LGBTQ+ Community

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) joined the Office of the Healthcare Advocate and the Office of Heath Strategy to voice our strong opposition to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) proposed rule, “Nondiscrimination in Health and Health Education Programs or Activities,” HHS-OCR-2019-0007 (RIN 0945-AA11).  We believe it is critical to oppose this proposed rule for patient access to care.

The Department’s proposed rule will institutionalize discrimination in health care, health insurance, and health education. It will hurt Connecticut’s LGBTQ+ and other health insurance consumers by repealing the regulation that today bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender stereotyping and sexual orientation.  It will roll back longstanding civil rights protections for residents with limited English proficiency.  In brief, we are concerned the proposed rule, if implemented, will do the following:

  • Change the definition of discrimination on the basis of sex to exclude discrimination against LGBTQ+ consumers;

  • Substantially reduce the scope of entities covered by the requirements of the anti-discrimination rule;

  • Exceed current and well-established legal balancing tests between religious practice and conscience protections and consumer rights;

  • Remove requirements to provide language access to individuals with limited English proficiency;

  • Remove the grievance process for individuals alleging discrimination in health programs and activities

  • Allow for discriminatory plan designs.

Click here to read the letter sent to HHS on August 12,2019.