Jul. 20--California joined a lawsuit with 22 other states against the Trump administration on Monday seeking to protect anti-discrimination language in the Affordable Care Act that the White House last month moved to eliminate.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra at a press conference warned that the Trump administration's policy change could open vulnerable people to discrimination by health care providers and insurers.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
"The moment when our nation is working to fight against and confront systemic discrimination is not the time to open up more discrimination," Becerra said. The rule, he added, is "mean and unconstitutional" and "unbelievably immoral."
Implemented under the Obama administration, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prevents health care providers and insurers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of "race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age."
But Becerra and others have accused the Department of Health and Human Services of moving last month to roll back parts of the rule that shield LGBTQ, pregnant and non-fluent individuals from losing out on health care.
Becerra also said the move would have far-reaching impacts across the state -- especially during a pandemic that's killed nearly 8,000 Californians since it began earlier this year, according to data from the Department of Public Health.
"It's more important than ever that everyone can access essential health care," he said.
A Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
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