HHS Wants You Gays To Have Equal Medicaid Benefits, Happy Pride!

MEDICAID:

Maybe it’s not a particularly sexy story, but it’s an important one. On Friday, Obama’s administration officially extended Medicaid protections to gay and lesbian couples. Years from now, healthcare and the full citizenship rights of gay people will be what this presidential administration is remembered for, and this is the intersection of the two. A letter to state Medicaid agencies outlines the new guidelines: “The letter, in effect, encourages states to recognize the spouses of gay men and lesbians, even though federal agencies are banned from recognizing such unions under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).”  The letter doesn’t require state Medicaid agencies to necessarily act differently, but certainly encourages them to do so – and while there are still plenty of restrictions in place as a result of DOMA, that could change soon. The letter also encourages state agencies to treat gay couples equally in other areas, like estate recovery and transfer of assets.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS

No one can deny that there are still huge obstacles in place, legal and otherwise, for queer families today. But people in positions of authority are finally working to change that – and when change is slow, working to provide options and increase freedoms and protections for gay people within and around the laws we already have. Obama’s administration has been responsible for quite a few changes recently that are aimed at improving the quality of life for gay people even as the repeal of the biggest issues like DOMA and DADT has been ongoing, and this is one of the more notable. Hopefully it will mean a real difference in the lives of those people who need it most.

GAGA PRIDE:

While Born This Way was playing at probably every Pride Parade in the world this weekend, the real Lady Gaga was only playing at one, in Rome, with this kind of amazing acoustic version.

TINA FEY:

Tina Fey’s response to Tracy Morgan’s homophobic comments is pretty on point, even if it does sound indistinguishable from Liz Lemon’s comments on Tracy Jordan. “The violent imagery of Tracy’s rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community. It also doesn’t line up with the Tracy Morgan I know, who is not a hateful man and is generally much too sleepy and self-centered to ever hurt another person. I hope for his sake that Tracy’s apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian co-workers at 30 Rock, without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with, or a printed-out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket.”

GAY POLITICIANS:

The last few elections have seen more gay candidates elected to local and national positions than ever before, and he Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund wants to keep that ball rolling. They’re hosting a “boot camp” for gay political candidates that will help them get elected and get into office.

CHLOE SEVIGNY:

Chloe Sevigny has some sort of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious runway show!

Resort on the Runway: Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony from Opening Ceremony on Vimeo.

OLSON&BOIES:

This video was made by Prop 8 lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies, and also features the words of Mildred Loving, of Loving v. Virginia. All in all, some pretty big-hitting names in marriage equality of all types, and also pretty moving!

TRANSGENDER VETERANS HEALTH:

Good news for trans veterans – the Veterans Health Administration has finally established a standardized policy on treating trans veterans. “This Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Directive establishes policy regarding the respectful delivery of health care to transgender and intersex Veterans who are enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system or are otherwise eligible for VA care.”

THE WIRE:

There will be a sixth season of The Wire. REJOICE.

DANCING CHILD:

If you haven’t seen this already, well, you’re in for a treat.

ME AT NINE, PERFORMING TO MADONNA IN SUMMER ’91! from Robert Jeffrey on Vimeo.


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Rachel

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.

18 Comments

  1. The Medicaid thing is state OPTIONAL!!!!
    Do you really thing all the gay hating states are going to suddenly say, gee, let’s treat gay couples fairly?
    The cup isn’t even half empty here.

    This particular policy applies to homeownership as seniors. Heterosexual married couples can do not have to forfeit their home in order for a spouse to be cared for by Medicaid. Same sex couples, not so much. Thanks to DOMA, as far as the federal agency is concerned, we are strangers to each other. Gotta give up the home to be covered in the case of illness by Medicaid…this up to the states business will cover us in possibly 5 western states, 7 eastern states and possibly Iowa.

  2. What Mildred Loving has said about same-sex marriage always makes me tear up. (Then again, I tear up at Hallmark commercials.)

    I like the thinly-veiled threat at the end of Tina Fey’s statement. lol

  3. If anything this may cause me to vote to reelect Obama in 2012. He is the first president to take the LGBT community seriously. DADT was repealed during his administration. I am glad that someone recognizes the fact that low income LGBT families need Medicaid as straight families do.

  4. the VA trans policy makes me so happy. I’ve been questioning that stuff for awhile and it’s nice to know that the only thing i have resembling heath care right now can help with it. even though the asshole psychiatrist at the VA made me take an aids test when I told him I was gay. even though I had just had a ton of bloodwork done for my initial entry into the system.

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