There is no comprehensive civil rights statute in health care comparable to the Fair Housing Act, Title VII, and similar laws that have made other aspects of society more equal. After Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI served this purpose for suits based on race, color, and national origin for almost four decades. Since the Supreme Court's 2001 ruling in Alexander v. Sandoval, however, there has been no private right of action for disparate impact claims under Title VI, and civil rights enforcement in health care has suffered as a result. Congress has passed new legislation in response to past Supreme Court decisions that read civil rights law too narrowly. In that tradition, this Note argues that courts may interpret S. 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as creating a private right of action for disparate impact in health care that is available to diverse protected classes.
Sarah G. Steege,
Finding a Cure in the Courts: A Private Right of Action for Disparate Impact in Health Care,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol16/iss2/3