AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ final rule, released on Friday, June 12, 2020, that makes changes to nondiscrimination provisions applicable to federally-supported health programs:
“The AAMC, which represents leading health care providers in communities around our nation, is committed to ensuring access to high-quality care that treats all patients and families equally and with respect. We strongly oppose any effort to encourage or promote discrimination in any form.
Specifically, we continue to object to the removal of the enumeration of groups who are protected from discrimination in the administration of HHS programs and services as this will harm access to health care for LGBTQ Americans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the LGBTQ community experiences significant inequities across a wide array of health and health care outcomes. The final rule will decrease health care access and use for the LGBTQ community, increase fear of discrimination, and widen already significant health inequities.
Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (6-3) that gay, lesbian, and transgender employees are protected against discrimination under a landmark 1964 civil rights law barring sex discrimination in the workplace. The HHS rule should not become effective until it is reviewed in light of the potential impact of this decision.
The AAMC maintains its commitment to the health of all people and our efforts to fight for the rights of all are key to improving health outcomes and reducing health inequities. We urge HHS to reject discrimination in health care and follow through on its stated mission to “enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans.”
For more information, please read the AAMC’s December 2019 comment letter on this proposed rule change.
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their 173,000 faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org.