HEALTH LAW COMMITTEE REGULATORY UPDATE
Written by Brandon Ross
I. NEW PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION, NEW DIRECTION ON HEALTH CARE REGULATIONS
On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden took office with a clear commitment to restore previously diminished Affordable Care Act policies, as well as strengthen and build upon its foundation. Since taking office, the Biden administration introduced regulations to:
- Rescind the Trump administration’s Affordable Care Act section 1557 regulation and restore protections codified in the Obama administration’s 2016 regulation. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination in health programs and activities receiving federal funding based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability, as well as increases access to interpretation and translation services for individuals with limited English proficiency. In 2020, the Trump administration issued regulations eliminating the prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation and protections for transgender individuals, adopting blanket abortion and religious freedom exemptions for health care providers, and reducing access to interpretation and translation services for individuals with limited English proficiency. Moving forward section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act will once again prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in health care.
- Delay and repeal the Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely (SUNSET) regulation, which was issued on the former President Trump’s final full day in office. The SUNSET regulation would have eliminated or revised all Health Human Services Agency (HHS) regulations, subject to certain exceptions, by requiring the HHS to assess all regulations subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act every ten years to determine whether the regulation is needed and whether it is making the appropriate impacts. HHS will likely finalize the repeal of this regulation in the coming months.