It’s Now Legal in Florida for Doctors to Deny Health Care to Anyone If They Feel Like It

The law makes no mention of protections against gender- or race-based discrimination, leading opponents to rightly worry that the sweeping nature of the text will let providers deny care or coverage to women, people of color, and LGBTQ people. A doctor could deny care, for instance, if they are “morally opposed” to gender-affirming care, or if they don’t like that a patient is having premarital sex. And it’s not just doctors—under the law, insurance companies, nurses, pharmacists, hospitals, ambulances, and more could all also deny care.

“This bill is a broad license for health care providers and insurance companies to refuse services to people. No one should be denied access to medical care,” said Brandon Wolf, the press secretary for Equality Florida. “This puts patients in harm’s way, is antithetical to the job of health care providers, and puts the most vulnerable Floridians in danger.”