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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Take Action: CVS is Trying to Gut Disability Rights – Tell Them to Back Down!

CVS claims a strong commitment to the disability community. Earlier this year they put out a statement honoring the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and boasting their commitment to ensuring health care is accessible. Yet this December, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in CVS v. Doe, in which CVS is fighting to gut the protections of disabled people across the country. We need to take action and tell CVS to pull this case from the Supreme Court today!

More about CVS v. Doe

CVS v. Doe is a case brought by HIV-positive people (the “plaintiffs”) against CVS. CVS requires the plaintiffs, who have pharmacy insurance coverage through CVS, to use a specialty medication program. The plaintiffs want CVS to allow them to opt out of the program because they are having problems getting their medications and the information they need from qualified pharmacists.

CVS is arguing their program is lawful and that Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act – a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability – does not cover situations where discrimination is unintentional. But the disability community knows all too well that not all discrimination is intentional. Many policies that seem neutral can harm or exclude people with disabilities – this type of discrimination is often referred to as “disparate impact”. CVS is arguing that Section 504 does not cover disparate impact discrimination.

If CVS is successful, the Supreme Court will immediately gut many of the disability rights protections our community has fought hard to secure. The case is about Section 504, but a ruling for CVS would also go beyond Section 504. A ruling for CVS would also impact our protections under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (which prohibits discrimination in covered health programs or activities) and could quickly threaten the ADA as well. Parts of the ADA are based on Section 504 rules that CVS is asking the Court to find illegal.

Learn more about this case in this explainer, which also includes sample tweets and images:

Take Action!

CVS claims to care about disabled people, but this case is a blatant attack on our community. On November 1, disability and HIV leaders sent an urgent letter to the CVS Board of Directors calling on them to stop their efforts to gut disability rights. We need everyone to tell CVS to pull the case from the Supreme Court today!

  • Send a letter to the Board of Directors of CVS. Use AAPD’s action tool to send a letter (template provided)!
  • Tweet at CVS today and tomorrow using the hashtags #BackDownCVS and #Save504. See sample tweets are below and in the explainer above.

Sample Tweets:

CVS is trying to gut 40 years of progress on disability rights. @CVSHealth: drop the case – don’t gut Section 504! #BackDownCVS #Protect504 @KarenSLynch @AnneFinucane @FdoAguirreCEO @ndeparle @kcdiversity @DrKhaldun

.@CVSHealth is bad medicine for the disability community! #BackDownCVS #Save504 @KarenSLynch @AnneFinucane @FdoAguirreCEO @ndeparle @kcdiversity @DrKhaldun

.@CVSHealth says their purpose is “bringing our heart to every moment of your health” – but gutting 40 years of progress on disability rights and healthcare access is HEARTLESS! #BackDownCVS #Save504 @KarenSLynch @AnneFinucane @FdoAguirreCEO @ndeparle @kcdiversity @DrKhaldun

“Healthier happens together,” unless you’re disabled! CVS is trying to gut disability rights and our access to health care. @CVSHealth: drop the appeal! #BackDownCVS #Save504 @KarenSLynch @AnneFinucane @FdoAguirreCEO @ndeparle @kcdiversity @DrKhaldun

.@CVSHealth Your position is dangerous and wrong – don’t gut Section 504! #BackDownCVS #Protect504 @KarenSLynch @AnneFinucane @FdoAguirreCEO @ndeparle @kcdiversity @DrKhaldun