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Health Care Bill Seeks End to D.P. Penalty


The health care reform bill that passed the House of Representatives on Saturday includes a provision to end the federal taxation of employer-provided health benefits for domestic partners, in addition to other key items of importance to LGBT citizens.

According to the blog HRC Back Story, the health care bill includes a proposal by Rep. Jim McDermott, aWashington Democrat, to end the prohibitive tax penalty imposed on domestic-partner health benefits. The benefits would be tax-free under the bill, just as they are for the partners and families of straight employees.

The bill also designates LGBT people as a health disparities population, including to HRC Back Story. As a result, data collection and grant programs focusing on understanding the community's unique needs will be stepped up. Other provisions include early treatment for HIV under Medicaid, comprehensive sex education, and nondiscrimination in the health care system.

The bill, which passed the House by a vote of 220 to 215 late on Saturday night, now moves to the Senate.

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Julie Bolcer