Petition for Rulemaking: Antidiscrimination Regulations in VA Health Care

On July 20, 2023, Minority Veterans of America (MVA), together with 13 other veterans’ and LGBTQ+ rights organizations, submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) asking the agency to issue regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in federally funded health programs and activities—including those administered or funded by the VA. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has promulgated regulations to implement Section 1557 in its health care programs for civilians, but VA has never done so for veterans. Discrimination based on these identity characteristics, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, is widespread within the VA health care system. Adopting regulations under Section 1557 is a necessary first step to remedying the rampant mistreatment of minority veterans at the VA. The VA should clarify through regulation the types of conduct that constitute impermissible discrimination and the remedies that are available for veterans who have suffered this discrimination. The clinic is counsel for MVA and the other petitioners.

Case Documents

Petition for Rulemaking to Promulgate Regulations Governing Discrimination Under Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Petition filed July 20, 2023.

Letter to VA Sec. Denis McDonough from members of Congress | Nov. 30, 2023

Press and Media

Veterans and LGBTQ+ Rights Groups Petition for Antidiscrimination Rules for VA Health Care Press Release | July 20, 2023

Veterans Groups Petition VA to Follow Anti-Discrimination Law Military.com | July 20, 2023

Blumenthal Demands End to LGBTQ Discrimination at VA WSHU | July 24, 2023

Reforms for Vets Boston Spirit Magazine | Sept. 1, 2023

Bicameral Letter Urges VA to Issue Antidiscrimination Regulations Press Release | Nov. 30, 2023

Lawmakers press VA for stronger rules against discrimination Military Times | Nov. 30, 2023