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HHS Issues Healthcare Final Rule Designed to Harm Vulnerable Communities

June 12, 2020

WASHINGTON—Today, PFLAG National issued the following statement in response to the Department of Health and Human Services having published a final rule to weaken enforcement of the Health Care Rights Law (section 1557 of the ACA), which specifically protects LGBTQ+ people, people with limited English proficiency, women, and many others.

Diego Sanchez, Director of Advocacy, Policy and Partnerships of PFLAG National said:

“Shamelessly and repeatedly, this administration shows that it lacks the  desire or intent to protect the lives of vulnerable people—specifically and especially transgender people. That any government at any time could intentionally strip protections from its residents is unconscionable, but when it strips access to healthcare from millions of people in the U.S.  during a global pandemic that has already claimed the lives of more than 110,000 souls feels criminal.”

“PFLAG National stands in solidarity with the millions of people, including LGBTQ+ people, Black, Latinx, people with disabilities, women, and older adults, who will be directly harmed by this rule. As an openly transgender Latinx man who has sat with HHS leaders and stood on the front lines of the fight to gain these rights, I cannot accept this.”

This rule was issued despite receiving more than 130,000 public comments in opposition, as well as a statement and sent a letter signed by 281 organizations in opposition to this rule change that was sent to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, HHS Office for Civil Rights Director Roger Severino, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, and other leaders. 

PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. With over 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas across America, PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed. To learn more, visit pflag.org, like us on Facebook (/pflag), or follow us on Twitter (@pflag) or Instagram (@pflag).


PFLAG is an organization of LGBTQ+ people, parents, families, and allies who work together to create an equitable and inclusive world. We are hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of chapters from coast to coast who are leading with love to support families, educate allies, and advocate for just, equitable, and inclusive legislation and policies. Since our founding in 1973, PFLAG works every day to ensure LGBTQ+ people everywhere are safe, celebrated, empowered and loved. Learn more, find support, donate, and take action at PFLAG.org.

Media Contact

Laura McGinnis (she/her),
Sr. Manager, Press and Public Relations

[email protected]  |  (202) 864-2247