HRC Blog

National LGBT Health Awareness Week: LGBT Health on the Hill

Post submitted by Tom Sullivan, HRC Staff

Today HRC participated in a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on the health and well-being of LGBT families. This was in observance of 2012 National LGBT Health Awareness Week. Panelists spoke on the unique social, economic, and legal impediments to LGBT family health and well-being in the U.S.

HRC Legal Director Brian Moulton described some of the federal legislative solutions to the inequities facing LGBT families in obtaining health insurance coverage in his panel presentation. “The federal Defense of Marriage Act, together with state marriage discrimination, bars same-sex couples from important healthcare protections,” Moulton said.  “However, Congress has a number of bills at its fingertips that could ensure more LGBT Americans have affordable access to health insurance, medical leave, and other critical benefits that would improve their health and that of their families.” 

The audience included many key congressional policy staff who were provided with a detailed explanation of the hurdles faced by LGBT families in accessing health insurance, the unfair tax treatment of health benefits and the importance of culturally competent healthcare. Specific pieces of legislation addressing concerns of LGBT families were discussed including the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act (H.R.3485 & S.1910) and the Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act (H.R.2088 & S.1171).

HRC is a proud member of the National Coalition for LGBT Health which sponsors National LGBT Health Awareness Week.

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