House Passes Health Reform Bill with Key LGBT Provisions

November 7, 2009 11:22PM
Michael Cole

Late this evening, the House passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962, by a vote of 220 to 215. While this is a historic step toward improving health care for all Americans, it is also a tremendous advance for the health needs of LGBT people. HRC lobbied the three committees involved in drafting the bill to include provisions that would help LGBT people in particular obtain the improved access to health care that the Act is designed to provide. Some of these measures have been part of HRC’s legislative agenda as free-standing bills for many years. The key provisions in the bill that the House passed are:

  • Health Disparities – the bill specifically designates LGBT people as a health disparities population, opening up health data collection and grant programs focused on health disparities related to sexual orientation and gender identity. With collection of data and funding of research, we can better address the specific health issues facing LGBT people.
  • Unequal Taxation of Domestic Partner Benefits – the bill ends the unfair taxation of employer-provided domestic partner health benefits, incorporating the language of the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act. Without this tax penalty, more people will be able to afford employer-provided coverage for their families, and more companies will be able to offer these important benefits.
  • Early Treatment for HIV under Medicaid – the bill also incorporates the Early Treatment for HIV Act, which allows states to cover early HIV treatment under their Medicaid programs, instead of withholding treatment for Medicaid recipients until they develop full-blown AIDS, This will dramatically improve the quality of life for low-income people with HIV, as well as saving taxpayers money and reducing the transmission of the virus.
  • Comprehensive Sex Education – the bill provides funding for comprehensive sex education programs that focus not only on abstinence, but also reducing teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. After more than $1 billion wasted on failed and discriminatory abstinence-only programs, this funding will provide youth, including LGBT students, with the tools they need to live healthy lives.
  • Non-discrimination – the bill prohibits consideration of personal characteristics unrelated to the provision of health care. HRC worked with a coalition of civil rights groups to develop and lobby for this language and we believe it will help protect LGBT people from discrimination in the health care system, where there are currently no federal protections for our community.

As the legislative process moves forward, HRC will continue to work to ensure that these important provisions remain part of the bill that reaches the President’s desk and, once it is law, to see that it is properly implemented.

UPDATE: See our new post “Next Steps on Health Reform, LGBT Provisions & Anti-Choice Amendment

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2009/11/house-passes-health-reform-bill-with-key-lgbt-provisions/trackback/

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference House Passes Health Reform Bill with Key LGBT Provisions:

  1. November 7, 2009 uberVU - social comments &mdash Social comments and analytics for this post... This post was mentioned on Twitter by RyanDCanty: glad the bill passed--WITH lgbt...
  2. November 8, 2009 Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents &mdash Affordable Health Care for (Some) Americans Act passes... Last night was a tough one.  We came home intending to watch a...
  3. November 8, 2009 What Will the Affordable Health Care for America Act do for LGBT Families? | Family Fairness &mdash [...] Human Rights Campaign has identified several important, new benefits for LGBT Americans. The two most key among them:...
  4. November 8, 2009 Same-Sex Couples Benefit From Un-Noticed Provisions Of Health Care Bill « Civil Rights & Wrongs &mdash [...] Same-Sex Couples Benefit From Un-Noticed Provisions Of Health Care Bill In Equality, civil rights, gay rights, human...
  5. November 9, 2009 LGBT Provisions In Healthcare Bill &mdash [...] heard, the Dem’s healthcare reform bill was passed by the House over the weekend.  HRC’s Back Story blog does...
  6. November 9, 2009 House of Representatives Passes Health-Care Reform Bill in Historic Vote &mdash [...] will be able to remain on the parents’ policies until their 27th birthdays, and several discriminatory practices...
  7. November 9, 2009 Box Turtle Bulletin » My Concerns about the Public Option &mdash [...] Also included are changes in treatment for HIV patients, heath data collection related to the LGBT community, new sex...
  8. November 9, 2009 Potentially One Less Tax Penalty for Gay Couples - Bucks Blog - NYTimes.com &mdash [...] Still, the tax treatment change isn’t a done deal unless the Senate agrees to it. While there is a freestanding bill in...
  9. November 10, 2009 News Round-Up for 10 Nov 2009 « Post-Partisan Politics &mdash [...] HRC: House Passes Health Reform Bill with Key LGBT Provisions [...]

The HRC Blog

The Human Rights Campaign’s perspective on the news, issues and events affecting the every day lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the country.

Categories

States

Archives

twitter logo