Director of Communications
“In the coming months, the macro themes and issues raised at the summit will work their way through to concrete policy and funding decisions that will affect the day-to-day lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
— Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
WASHINGTON, March 6 — National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey was among those participating in yesterday’s White House health-care reform summit convened by President Barack Obama.
Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“The White House Forum on Health Reform was a powerful start to reforming health care and how our country views health generally. With Sen. Ted Kennedy in the room, people couldn’t help but be inspired to focus on solutions. In the coming months, the macro themes and issues raised at the summit will work their way through to concrete policy and funding decisions that will affect the day-to-day lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The Task Force will be working to make sure our needs, lives and families are not left behind. For example, how families are defined will be critical to ensuring full coverage of LGBT people, our partners/spouses and our children. The days when we must pay taxes on domestic partner health benefits must end.
“Other issues of great concern to LGBT people are the need for inclusive services; quality health care for those who are not employed; funding for community-based health centers with culturally sensitive services; addressing the ‘preexisting conditions’ barriers that far too many in our community face by having to move from job to job due to lack of employment protections or barriers faced by transgender people; and the racial and economic disparities that have plagued the existing system.
“Our community has a great deal at stake in the outcomes of this process but we also have a lot to offer in terms of solutions, creativity and engagement — after all, our community created an entire infrastructure of HIV/AIDS care when the government was unwilling to take action in ways that addressed the scale of the problem.”