AG Becerra Stands Ready to Protect Californians from Trump Administration’s Rule that Permits Refusal of Care

SACRAMENTO, May 2, 2019 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today criticized the Trump Administration for its arbitrary decision to allow Americans to be denied healthcare. The final “refusal rule” would allow broad, sweeping refusals of care based on religious or moral objections, even in emergency circumstances. It would also jeopardize crucial funding for California’s healthcare, education, and labor funding and threaten access to care for women, LGBTQ individuals, and many other Californians.

“President Trump believes he can legalize the refusal of basic medical care for Americans. It’s 2019, not 1920. We won’t go back to the days when Americans seeking healthcare faced discrimination simply because they were female or LGBTQ,” said Attorney General Becerra. “California stands ready to take any and all legal action to prove the Trump Administration wrong.”

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Last year, Attorney General Becerra submitted a comment letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) arguing that the proposed rule would harm California and its interest in protecting its residents, healthcare providers, licensees, and consumer laws. The letter further argued that the rule exceeds legal authority and undermines the Constitution and federal law, including the Affordable Care Act, Title X, Title VII, and the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. Shortly after, on April 25, 2018, Attorney General Becerra submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to HHS seeking information about the Trump Administration’s proposed rule. More than a year later, the federal government has failed to provide a substantive response or documents.