May 22, 2019

Healey joins multi-state lawsuit over health program funding

Attorney General Maura Healey

More than $12 billion in federal funding for public health programs in Massachusetts could be at risk by a proposed Trump administration rule that Attorney General Maura Healey sued to block on Tuesday along with 23 states, cities and counties.

Healey said that the funds could be withheld unless Massachusetts complies with a rule that would allow federally-funded health care providers to refuse to provide information or health services they consider to be in conflict with personally held religious or moral beliefs.

Some of those funds go toward substance abuse and mental health treatment.

"Access to medically accurate and necessary health care is a basic civil right," Healey said in statement. "Providers should not be able to use their personal beliefs as an excuse to deny needed care. We are suing to protect the lives and health of our residents."

The rule, according to Healey, would negatively impact the state's ability to enforce the Massachusetts law requiring the delivery of emergency medical care, including providing emergency contraception to survivors of sexual assault.

The attorney general also expressed her concern that transgender patients could be refused treatment or health information.

The rule is set to go into effect in July. The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York.


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