On Dec. 31, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction temporarily blocking enforcement of the Section 1557 nondiscrimination rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The court’s injunction specifically bans the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from enforcing the Section 1557 provisions prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or termination of pregnancy.

The remaining Section 1557 provisions are not affected by the injunction, and will continue to be enforced by HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR). These provisions, which will take effect as scheduled (mostly on Jan. 1, 2017):

–Prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, race, color, age, national origin or sex (other than gender identity); and
–Enhance language assistance for people with limited English proficiency.

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