Press Release

Attorney General Ellison and coalition win fight to stop Trump Administration healthcare discrimination rule

Federal court issues summary judgment vacating entire HHS rule ‘refusal of care’ rule

Rule would have drastically expanded healthcare providers’ ability to deny necessary healthcare to virtually anyone they chose, solely on the basis of their own ‘religious beliefs or moral convictions’

November 6, 2019 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General and a coalition of 22 others states and local jurisdictions won their fight to stop the Trump Administration’s discriminatory “refusal of care” rule. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted Attorney General Ellison’s and the coalition’s motion for summary judgment to permanently block the “refusal of care” rule by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and vacated the rule in its entirety.

The rule would have dramatically expanded the list of healthcare providers, whether businesses or employees, that could have refused necessary and critical healthcare services to virtually anyone they chose if they claimed that serving someone conflicted with their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

“I believe healthcare is a human right and discrimination violates human rights. The Trump Administration believes it’s ok for some Minnesotans to get sick, suffer, or die just because of who they are,” Attorney General Ellison said. “I stepped in to protect Minnesotans against this rule because that’s fundamentally wrong. It’s a win for everyone that the court agreed.”

Attorney General Ellison joined the Attorneys General of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin, the cities of New York and Chicago, and Cook County, Illinois in suing the federal government over the “refusal of care” rule. They argued that the rule violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act, as well as the Spending and Establishment Clauses and the separation-of-powers principles in the U.S. Constitution.

More background on the impact of the rule and the history of the coalition’s effort to block it is available on Attorney General Ellison’s website.