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Obama health measure omits gay people

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Prospects for including pro-gay provisions in federal health care reform legislation took another blow this week as President Obama unveiled his version of health care reform.

Openly gay Rep. Tammy Baldwin says she’s still not giving up, but President Obama’s new proposal for a bill he hopes will reignite momentum for health care reform includes none of the specific pro-gay provisions that were in the House-passed measure.

It was Baldwin’s leadership that led the House to include a prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in health care. The House bill also included a repeal of existing tax penalties for gay employees who are able to cover their spouses or partners under their employer’s insurance plan. And it was the House bill that included a provision to collect data that might address some of the health disparities for LGBT people in health research and services.

The Senate bill included none of these things and it was the Senate bill that President Obama used as a template for the proposal rolled out Monday. The new plan will serve as the starting point for negotiating with Republicans to get some kind of health care reform this year.

The president will meet with Republican and Democratic leaders in a health reform summit Thursday but prospects for getting some kind of agreement there are looking as slim as prospects for including pro-gay language in any health care reform bill.

–Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

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Written by OutQ News staff

February 23, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Posted in Health, Legislation, White House

Tagged with ,

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