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Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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June 28, 2024

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 20 attorneys general, today filed an amicus brief opposing efforts to gut protections against discrimination in health care for transgender individuals and other vulnerable communities.  

In an amicus brief filed in Texas and Montana v. Becerra, Raoul and the coalition are opposing a motion for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and stay of agency action against a final rule implementing section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Raoul and the coalition support the final rule’s inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity as forms of sex discrimination and stress the importance of upholding the nondiscrimination protections of section 1557 to ensure equitable access to health care for all individuals.

“Across the country, we continue to see efforts to eliminate protections against discrimination that – if successful – will negatively impact already vulnerable communities,” Raoul said. “No individual should face discrimination when accessing the health care they need, and I will continue to support commonsense rules that protect all Americans.”

Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits all health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance from discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. On June 19, 2020, the previous federal administration issued a rule implementing section 1557, severely narrowing the scope of a 2016 rule by eliminating prohibitions preventing health insurers from discriminating against vulnerable populations, including LGBTQ+ individuals, individuals with limited English proficiency, women, as well as other protected classes. In response, the current administration issued the final rule in April 2024, restoring protections weakened by the previous administration, reducing language access barriers and expanding accessibility, among other safeguards.

In today’s amicus brief, Raoul and the coalition defend the final rule against these challenges, arguing that: 

  • The amici states’ experiences ensuring equitable access to health care for transgender individuals confirms the important benefits of the rule.
  • Serious harm would be inflicted on transgender individuals by denying them medically-necessary care that protects their physical, emotional and psychological health.
  • The rule’s definition of discrimination on the basis of sex including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is consistent with the statutory text, congressional intent and Supreme Court precedent. 

Joining Raoul in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.