Michigan Law Prohibits Extension of Health Coverage to State Employees’ Domestic Partners

The Michigan State Capitol.

According to a new Michigan law, government workers in the state will no longer receive health insurance coverage for their domestic partners.

Republican state representative Dave Agema introduced House Bill 4770 , which proposed to end the extension of state employees’ health insurance benefits to partners to whom they are not legally married. The bill was signed into law yesterday by governor Rick Snyder.

This bill has been criticized as an attack on same-sex families, and also on unmarried heterosexual couples who want to provide for their significant others. The law will affect over 33,000 employees of the state of Michigan as well as employees of Michigan State University.  I smell a lawsuit, don’t you?

Source: The Advocate

Tennessee Hospital Refuses Lesbian Partner Visitation and Violates Medicare/Medicaid Funding Requirements

In Tennessee, a woman was denied the right to visit her female partner of 3 years at a hospital last week despite Medicare and Medicaid regulations.

Val Burke, whose partner is a patient in Rolling Hills Hospital of Franklin,  made multiple requests to the facility that she be granted access to her  loved one.  Burke had been allowed to visit previously, but only when accompanied by her partner’s mother. Now Burke has been completely excluded for her failure to qualify as a legal spouse or family member.

Under 42 CFR Parts 482 and 48 in a Department of Health and Human Services publication,  facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding are required to permit their patients to choose who may visit them.  Facilities are also compelled to put their visitation policies in writing including any “clinically necessary or reasonable restrictions” that may affect visitation.

The hospital has confirmed that it receives both Medicare and Medicaid funding and claimed they have addressed the issue with their staff.  You best read the law before you try to use it y’all!

Source: Topix

 

 

Clinton’s Speech on LGBT Human Rights is Awesome :)

As the semester is coming to a close and I study for finals, it was nice to sit back and take some comfort in knowing that the day has come where our government would actually defend LGBT rights to the world at large. Who would have thought 20 or 30 years ago that the Secretary of State would be arguing that lgbt rights are human rights?

Watch the Secretary of State’s speech below:

Supreme Court Hears Case of HIV+ Pilot Whose Status Was Revealed By Government

The Supreme Court is currently hearing the case of a San Francisco pilot requesting damages from the United States government for disclosing his HIV status to the Federal Aviation Administration(“FAA”) and causing him emotional distress.

According to court documents,  in 2002 the FAA obtained information that a pilot had failed to notify the FAA of his severe medical condition upon renewal of his flying license. FAA agents checked the records of 45,000 Northern California pilots and learned that the Social Security Administration had put Stanmore Cooper on disability benefits in 1995 because HIV related illness. If his medical condition were severe enough back in 1994 when Cooper had renewed his license, he may have been prevented from renewal.

Cooper lost his license and was charged with a misdemeanor for making false statements to the government. He plead guilty and paid a $1,000 fine.

Cooper now claims that the FAA violated the Privacy Act, and that he is entitled to “actual damages”. The Supreme Court will decide whether “actual damages” include only monetary losses or can be awarded for mental distress.

Reports say that the Justices seem skeptical of the pilot’s claims, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Source: Advocate

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