Main | Thursday, July 24, 2008

Medicaid Benefits For MA Gays

Excellent news. Yesterday the Massachusetts house passed a bill approving equal Medicaid benefits for married gays.
Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to sign the bill, which was passed by the state House on July 15. The lawmakers' actions defy the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bans legally wed same-sex couples from receiving federally provided benefits such as Medicaid, the "safety-net" health care program administered by the states.

Supporters say Massachusetts can circumvent federal law by using only state dollars to pay for gay couples' benefits. Under current law, if a same-sex couple owns a house together and one partner has to go into a nursing home, the other could lose the home once all the medical bills are paid, MassEquality said. Changing the law offers significant progress in helping LGBT seniors in crisis, said Lisa Krinksy, director of the LGBT Aging Project, which worked with MassEquality, in a written statement.

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