via Advocate, by Andrew Harmon
Two notable developments did not make the final cut. The first was her controversial decision in December overruling a Food and Drug Administration recommendation that Plan B One-Step, an emergency contraceptive, be available without prescription to people under 17.
The second was far less headline-grabbing — if perhaps far more impactful and not the type of achievement that HHS has otherwise shied away from touting.
Under Secretary Sebelius, HHS has taken a hard look at the breathtaking disparity in health care access that LGBT Americans face.
How those who do have access to care are treated in the system seems to vary widely: One striking survey released in 2010 by Lambda Legal reported high rates of myriad negative experiences among gay and transgender respondents, including health care professionals using abusive language or even refusing to touch patients.
With LGBT antidiscrimination legislation and a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act not expected to move anytime soon in a divided Congress, leadership on LGBT health issues from the executive branch has proved crucial.
Some of that progress, as outlined by Sebelius in an October address to the National Coalition for LGBT Health, easily translates into media attention.
For example, an Obama administration mandate that forbids hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in their visitation policies is “due in no small part” to people like Janice Langbehn who have experienced the tragic consequences of unjust rules, White House officials wrote nearly a year ago when the rule went into effect.
In 2007, Langbehn was kept from her dying partner’s side in a Miami hospital along with the couple's children.
President Obama awarded Langbehn the Presidential Citizens Medal in October for her advocacy on the issue ever since.
Putting a face on other positive steps forward can be difficult.
Questions on sexual orientation and gender identity, for instance, have historically been excluded from federal health surveys that factor other demographics such as race and ethnicity, as detailed by a groundbreaking report in 2011 by the Institute of Medicine.
Collecting such information on surveys is essential to establishing research priorities and sound health care policy, experts widely agree.
HHS released a two-year data collection plan last year to help close the gap.
“The Department of Health and Human Services decision to collect health data on the LGBT population will allow public health professionals to understand for the first time patterns and risks for disease among LGBT people, as well as how to design the most effective interventions,” said Ilan Meyer, an expert on LGBT health and a senior scholar of public policy at the Williams Institute.
Other agencies, such as the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have also moved to incorporate LGBT data collection.
In a recent interview with The Advocate, Secretary Sebelius spoke about the year in LGBT health at HHS, the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act expected later this year, and how marriage rights (or lack thereof) may affect the health of LGBT Americans.
Read the rest
select key words
2007 National HIV Prevention Conference 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit 2011 LGBTI Health Summit 2012 Gay Men's Health Summit 2012 International AIDS Conference abstinence only ACT Up activism advocacy Africa african-american aging issues AIDS AIDS Foundation of Chicago anal cancer anal carcinoma anal health anal sex andrew's anus athlete ball scene bareback porn barebacking bathhouses bears big bold and beautiful Bisexual Bisexual Health Summit bisexuality black gay men black msm blood ban blood donor body image bottom Brian Mustanski BUTT Center on Halsted Charles Stephens Chicago Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus Chicago Task Force on LGBT Substance Use and Abuse Chris Bartlett chubby chaser circumcision civil rights civil union Coaching with Jake communication community organizing condoms Congress crystal meth dating dating and mating with alan irgang David Halperin David Munar depression disclosure discrimination domestic violence don't ask don't tell douche downlow Dr. James Holsinger Dr. Jesus Ramirez-Valles Dr. Rafael Diaz Dr. Ron Stall drag queen Ed Negron emotional health ENDA Eric Rofes exercise Feast of Fun Feel the love... female condom fitness Friday is for Faeries FTM gay culture gay identity gay latino gay male sex gay marriage gay men gay men of color gay men's health Gay Men's Health Summit 2010 gay pride gay rights gay rugby gay sex gay youth gender harm reduction hate crime HCV health care health care reform health insurance hepatitis C HIV HIV care HIV drugs HIV negative HIV positive HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV strategic plan HIV testing hiv vaccine HIV/AIDS homophobia homosexuality hottie hotties how are you healthy? Howard Brown Health Center HPV human rights humor hunk Illinois IML immigration International AIDS Conference international mr. leather internet intimacy IRMA Jim Pickett leather community leathersex Leon Liberman LGBT LGBT adoption LGBT culture LGBT health LGBT rights LGBT seniors LGBT youth LGBTI community LGBTI culture LGBTI health LGBTI rights LGBTI spirituality LGV LifeLube LifeLube forum LifeLube poll LifeLube subscription lifelube survey Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano love lube lubricant Lymphogranuloma Venereum masturbation mental health microbicides middle Monday Morning Perk-Up MRSA MSM music National AIDS Strategy National Gay Men's Health Summit negotiated safety nutrition One Fey's Tale oral sex Peter Pointers physical health Pistol Pete pleasure PnP podcast policy politics poppers porn post-exposure prophylaxis PrEP President Barack Obama Presidential Campaign prevention Project CRYSP prostate prostate cancer public health public sex venues queer identity racism Radical Faerie recovery rectal microbicides relationships religion research safe sex semen Senator Barack Obama sero-adaptation sero-sorting seroguessing sex sexual abuse sexual addiction sexual health sexual orientation Sister Glo Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence smoking social marketing spirituality STD stigma stonewall riots substance abuse treatment substance use suicide super-bug superinfection Susan Kingston Swiss declaration syphilis Ted Kerr Test Positive Aware Network testicle self-examination testicular cancer testing The "Work-In" The 2009 Gay Men's Health Agenda Tony Valenzuela top Trans and Intersex Association trans group blog Trans Gynecology Access Program transgender transgender day of remembrance transgendered transmen transphobia transsexual Trevor Hoppe universal health care unsafe sex vaccines video violence viral load Who's That Queer Woof Wednesday writers yoga You Tube youtube