VICTORY- House Passes Health Care Bill Containing Key LGBT Provisions

On Saturday,
November 7, the House passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962, by
a vote of 220 to 215. This is a great step forward towards
improving health care for ALL Americans, particularly the un-and
under-insured, which includes the LGBT community. The calls you
made to your Representatives made a difference! Now we must focus
our energy on the Senate. Follow us on Twitter
and Facebook to get the latest on the progress of
this bill and how to support its passage in the Senate!

The Affordable Health Care
for America Act, H.R. 3962 includes key provisions to the health
and well-being of LGBT families including:

  • Non-discrimination – the
    bill prohibits consideration of personal characteristics unrelated
    to the provision of health care. This is the first federal
    legislation to protect LGBT people from discrimination in the
    health care system.

  • 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

  • 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 the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases.
    After more than $1 billion was wasted on failed, medically
    inaccurate and discriminatory abstinence-only programs, this
    funding will provide our children with the tools they need to live
    healthy lives.

The LGBT community is the un- and under-insured. We are families
with children, seniors and youth, women, people of color,
immigrants, people living with HIV and AIDS, and transgender
people. We are too often discriminated against by insurance
companies and health care providers and denied the care that we
need. The status quo harms our community and our families; we
deserve to be part of the nation’s blueprint for

The focus of health care reform now moves to the Senate.

Follow us on Twitter
and Facebook to get the latest on the progress of
this bill and how to support its passage in the Senate!