California AG Becerra files motion to stop the implementation of “Healthcare Refusal Rule”

California AG Becerra

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a motion for preliminary injunction to stop the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) from implementing the “Healthcare Refusal Rule” on June 22.

In a statement, AG Becerra said, “No one should fear being denied healthcare based on their gender, health condition, or who they love.”

“As long as President Trump continues his war on Americans’ healthcare, California will fight back. We refuse to go back to the days when healthcare was only for a select few. California will keep working to strengthen and improve healthcare rights for all.”

The HHS rule promotes the right to deny basic healthcare to patients

According to AG Becerra, the HHS’ used “anti-discrimination” framework as a pretext to its new rule, “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority.”

However, its primary objectives are to deprive patients of their access vital, life-saving health care services and “promote a nebulous, untethered right to object to provide such services.”

Under the rule, any individual or entity from doctors to front office staff to deny basic healthcare to patients based on religious or moral objections.  Thus, he calls it the “Healthcare Refusal Rule.”

AG Becerra stated that the rule does not limit healthcare refusal to women’s access to abortion and contraception. It affects all medical services for LGBTQ individuals and children.

Becerra argues the Healthcare Refusal Rule will only encourage widespread discrimination

“This Rule only opens the door to widespread, unfettered discrimination against Californians, including those populations that have historically faced obstacles to obtaining care,” said the Attorney General in his motion.

Additionally, AG Becerra argued that the rule “unfairly targets” California as it “threatens to terminate billions of dollars in federal funding” for the state’s public health and other programs.

The Attorney General emphasized that the rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Spending Clause, and the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.