DEFEATING THE LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE
In 2022, the "License to Discriminate" (HB 747) was defeated. As proposed, it would have allowed the weaponization of "conscience" laws to legally deny healthcare to any Floridian based on nearly any circumstance.
Today, the "License to Discriminate" has been resurrected as HB 1403, and again risks impacting the care we all receive from our physicians, nurses, therapists, hospitals, and even insurance companies.
The American Medical Association (2018) protested similar rules because they could be abused to discriminate based on "race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, immigration status, and national origin".
This legislation puts care for Veterans and immigrants in jeopardy. It emboldens racists and endangers both women's health and reproductive freedom. Although LGBTQ+ families could be targeted, the transgender community would likely face the most difficulty accessing care. Despite decades of combating antisemitism and religious bigotry, Jewish families and people of any faith background could be denied service. The bill could make it even easier for medical staff to refuse care for patients based on vaccination status. Essentially, Florida HB 747 opens the flood gates for any Floridian to be denied care without consequence based solely on a company, organization, or individual's "feelings" or "beliefs".
The License to Discriminate would prioritize the prejudice of those who would betray their profession over our patients. This is especially dangerous for the 712,540 Floridians who live in rural areas and already have difficulty accessing healthcare services. From day one, this bill specifically targets already underserved families who need more access to care, not less, and it must be stopped.
Please join us in protecting our patients as we uphold our oath to, "help the sick, heal the injured, and above all else, do no harm".