2:48 PM, Aug 29, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Department of Health and Human Services released a statement today saying that gay spouses are now eligible for key Medicare benefits. The announcement is presented as "guidance" for "implementing Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act."
The HHS statement reads, "Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a memo clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives. This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, which held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional."
In a statement, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius adds, “HHS is working swiftly to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and maximize federal recognition of same-sex spouses in HHS programs. ... Today’s announcement is the first of many steps that we will be taking over the coming months to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.”
The rest of the statement reads:
“Today, Medicare is ensuring that all beneficiaries will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “Prior to this, a beneficiary in a same-sex marriage enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan did not have equal access to such coverage and, as a result, could have faced time away from his or her spouse or higher costs because of the way that marriage was defined for this purpose.”
Under current law, Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan are entitled to care in, among certain other skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), the SNF where their spouse resides (assuming that they have met the conditions for SNF coverage in the first place, and the SNF has agreed to the payment amounts and other terms that apply to a plan network SNF). Seniors with Medicare Advantage previously may have faced the choice of receiving coverage in a nursing home away from their same-sex spouse, or dis-enrolling from the Medicare Advantage plan which would have meant paying more out-of-pocket for care in the same nursing home as their same-sex spouse.
Today’s guidance clarifies that this guarantee of coverage applies equally to all married couples. The guidance specifically clarifies that this guarantee of coverage applies equally to couples who are in a legally recognized same-sex marriage, regardless of where they live.
3:02 PM, Aug 5, 2013 • By CHRISTINE FLOWERS
A visitor to Richmond can’t leave without a trip to John Marshall’s house, a living shrine to the greatest chief justice in the history of the United States. Passing through the halls of his former home, it is as if the spirit of the great man is present in the articles he used and the rooms he inhabited. The courtly tour guide will narr
From the dissenting opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia in U.S. v. WindsorJul 8, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 41 • By ANTONIN SCALIA, FOR THE EDITORS
This case is about power in several respects. It is about the power of our people to govern themselves, and the power of this Court to pronounce the law. Today’s opinion aggrandizes the latter, with the predictable consequence of diminishing the former. . . .
6:41 PM, Apr 3, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996, is now set to be honored a gay lobbying group in Los Angeles.
"Former President Bill Clinton will be honored with an award for his advocacy for gay marriage, gay and lesbian lobbying group GLAAD said on Wednesday," Reuters reports.
10:14 AM, Oct 18, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
During Herman Cain’s generally strong performance on Meet the Press on Sunday, David Gregory asked him, “Would you seek a constitutional ban for same sex marriage?” Cain replied, “I wouldn’t seek a constitutional ban for same sex marriage, but I am pro-traditional marriage.” Gregory followed up: “But you would let the states make up their own mind as they’re doing now?” Cain responded, “They would make up their own minds, yes.”
12:22 AM, Apr 26, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
On Monday, the law firm King and Spalding reneged on its agreement to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court. Following the Obama Justice Department's decision not to defend the federal law in court, the U.S. House of Representatives took up the case and hired former U.S.
9:46 AM, Feb 24, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
President Obama has now decided that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional. Thus, the Obama administration says that it will no longer defend that federal law in court. On the campaign trail, President Obama repeatedly asserted that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Now, the president has apparently decided that his own view, at least when codified as federal law, is unconstitutional.
‹‹ More Recent