Maryland Attorney General Supports Efforts to Undo 2020 Rule that Weakens HealthCare Nondiscrimination Protections

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office issued the following news release on Wednesday, March 27:

Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown today joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (BAGLY), et al. v. United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), et al. in support of the plaintiffs’ motion to undo a 2020 federal rule (the Rule) that weakened the
nondiscrimination protections provided by Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The plaintiffs, a group of civil rights and reproductive health advocacy organizations, challenged the Rule as “arbitrary and capricious” in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), stressing the serious health and social harms that it imposes on underserved populations. In today’s brief, the coalition emphasizes the importance of the nondiscrimination protections of Section 1557 in ensuring equitable access to healthcare.

“Everyone deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare without fear of discrimination,” said Attorney General Brown. “We must ensure all Marylanders, especially those from marginalized and
underserved communities, have access to the necessary and vital treatment and care they need.”

Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits all health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance from discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

On June 19, 2020, a Rule was issued that, among other things, eliminated regulatory prohibitions, previously issued to implement Section 1557, that prevented health insurers from discriminating against vulnerable populations, including LGBTQ+ individuals, individuals with limited English proficiency, and women, as well as other protected classes.

Plaintiffs in BAGLY v. HHS filed a lawsuit on July 9, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, challenging the Rule. The plaintiffs have now filed a motion for summary judgment to completely undo the 2020 Rule.

In today’s brief, the coalition supports plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, arguing that the Rule:
· Improperly narrows the entities covered by Section 1557, which limits the protections it provides;
· Improperly removes protections for transgender individuals;
· Exceeds agency authority by expanding “exemptions” to Section 1557’s protections; and
· Fails to consider the harmful impacts of the Rule, such as reduced access to healthcare.

In the brief, the coalition stresses the importance of upholding these federal nondiscrimination protections, as well as the individual and social benefits of ensuring equitable access to healthcare.
In filing the brief, Attorney General Brown joined the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

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KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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