Obama extends health care rights to gay partners
 

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posted Friday, April 9, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 15

Obama extends health care rights to gay partners
By CHARLES BABINGTON Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - In a move hailed as a step toward fairness for same-sex couples, President Barack Obama is ordering that nearly all hospitals allow patients to say who has visitation rights and who can help make medical decisions, including gay and lesbian partners.

The White House on Thursday released a statement by Obama instructing his Health and Human Services secretary to draft rules requiring hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments to grant all patients the right to designate people who can visit and consult with them at crucial moments.

The designated visitors should have the same rights that immediate family members now enjoy, Obama's instructions said. It said Medicare-Medicaid hospitals, which include most of the nation's facilities, may not deny visitation and consultation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

full story:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100416/ap_on_bi_ge/us_obama_hospital_patients


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