Did you know that on April 15th, 2010 President Obama issued a presidential memorandum requiring hospitals accepting Medicare and Medicaid funding to recognize LGBT patients’ right to designate partners for hospital visitation rights?
As President Obama noted in the directive, gay and lesbian Americans were often impacted by hospital visitation rules that prohibited visits from people outside the patient’s immediate family. Janice Langbehn experienced this discrimination in 2007, when she was refused the right to visit her partner Lisa Pond, who was hospitalized for a brain aneurysm and later died alone. Her tragic story, and countless others, inspired the President to act to end this practice.
By requiring hospitals accepting Medicare and Medicaid funding—the vast majority of US hospitals—to recognize a patient’s “designated partner,” our President took a huge step towards ensuring that hospitalized LGBT Americans will no longer be barred the comfort of a loved one at their bedside.
If you’re proud of President Obama’s commitment to compassionate care and equal treatment for all Americans, say you stand with him.