Howard County has joined an amicus brief seeking the invalidation of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule that would strip anti-discrimination and foreign language protections from the Affordable Care Act.

Howard County invests heavily to counteract the negative effects of healthcare discrimination on the LGBTQ+ community. The county invests in outreach, community engagement work, and compliant investigations to serve LGBTQ+ residents. The amicus brief also notes, “The cascading costs of discrimination are especially expensive for local governments, which bear primary responsibility for managing public safety-net benefits, economic supports, child welfare systems, and emergency and transitional housing.”

Howard County’s Human Rights Code also affords protections to individuals who may have been subjected to discrimination due to their gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, along with 12 other protected bases.