Mass. Legislature Wants Medicaid for Gay Couples

By Mike Grippi

Originally published on Advocate.com July 24 2008 12:00 AM ET

The Massachusetts
state senate passed a bill that would grant married
same-sex couples the same access to Medicaid benefits as
heterosexual couples, according to gay rights group
MassEquality. The bill, the final version of which
will be negotiated between the house and senate after
resolving differences in language, is expected to then
be signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick.

Lisa Krinksy,
director of the LGBT Aging Project, which worked with
MassEquality on the proposed legislation, said in a press
release that the bill would be of significant help to
LGBT senior citizens who have to deal with difficult
medical and financial decisions.

"By passing this
bill, the Massachusetts legislature is not only
codifying the 2003 Goodrich decision extending
legal marriage and its ‘protections, benefits, and
obligations’ to same-sex married couples in our
state," she said. "It’s also helping protect
LGBT seniors from the potential impoverishment and
homelessness they faced under current Medicaid laws."

The federal
Defense of Marriage Act currently prevents same-sex couples
married in Massachusetts and California from receiving
federally provided benefits like Medicaid. (The
Advocate
)