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Health Care Equality Index

Page history last edited by Jillian Underwood 11 years, 7 months ago

     Note: please note that this profile of a policy option or program model should (a) link back to the issue overview on this topic, (b) be focused either the local, state, national, or global level, and (c) be neutrally presented, based on facts, and include footnotes for each of the items.  See the Research Guide and Information Sources to assist you.





  • Healthcare Equality Index works with the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. In May 2008 they rated 88 healthcare facilities regarding LGBT individuals. HEI focused on five main points: patient non-discrimination, visitation, decision making, cultural competency training and employment policies and benefits. The report provides policy models and statistics on hospitals that implement these GLBT policies. (1)
    • Patient Non Discrimination Policy that includes fair treatment regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
    • Visitation Rights Policies- Allows GLBT domestic partners same access of visitation rights as spouses and next of kin. Will also allow same access for same-sex parents as opposite-sex parents in visiting their children.
    • Decision Making Policies- Grants GLBT domestic partners decision-making authority for their hospitalized partner and their children.
    • Equal employment policy which includes health benefits



  • HEI's policies will give equal access to non-traditional families in publically funded hospitals. This access will include visitation rights, Decision making, and non-discrimination of GLBT individuals. This will ultimately accomplish my Healthcare Access for Non-Traditional Couples goal.



  •   There will be no cost for taxpayers and public. My policy is giving visitation rights. The medical bills would be the same even if my policy does not pass.



  • The HEI policy is supported by many equal rights organizations and they try to influence public and private hospitals in adopting these policies.



  • The survey the HEI sent out was only taken by 21 out of the 50 states. It is not a full representation, but should be considered a prominent benchmark for equal rights. The policy itself is effective in its goal which is to have equal access. LGBT individuals do not ask to have special treatment, just equal rights.



  • This policy is suggested for all publicly funded hospitals nationwide but is implemented by a handful. President Obama has made promising strides within his first 100 days, such as passing an inclusive hate crime bill for homosexuals, that lead me to believe that there will be upcoming policies that will implement GLBT equal rights policies. (2) 


Point of View    

  •   "Public health is a national priority, and the administration plays a key role in providing funding for research, education and programs to address the special needs of minority communities. Yet while the LGBT community faces urgent and particular challenges, not all employers offer health benefits to their employees’ same-sex partners, and where those benefits are provided they are subject to unfair taxation" -Human Rights Campaign (3)
  •   Lambda Legal has dedicated themselves to fighting for LGBT equal rights. Healthcare access is one of the many issues they lead head on. Individuals are able to contact Lambda for legal advice and they will lead them in a fight. Any case from a gay man being denied his prescription drugs to a Lesbian woman and her children sitting in the waiting room as her partner dies because a Miami hospital refuses recognize her 'power of attorney.' Lambda legal is fighting for their rights and bringing legal justice one individual at a time. If the Health Care Quality Index policy was put into place, there job would be much easier. (4)
  • There are individuals who do not support gay marriage and equal rights for gays. My policy would benefit all non-traditional couples. Therefore, straight couples who do not marry would have equal visitation rights as married couples. Written power of attorney would be honored in all 50 states. I'm hoping the language of "non-traditional" will make this bill a little less threatening and will be pushed through.
  • To continue this language, an anti-gay adoption bill was filed that prohibited gay adoption and non-married couples to adopt. A new bill, filed by State Senator Paul Stanley (R-Memphis) would dictate: “a minor may not be adopted if the individual seeking to adopt is cohabiting outside of a marriage that is valid under the constitution and laws of this state.” (5)





Bibliography    link to any additional readings or websites related to this policy or program 



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