All agree that the President’s budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2013 will go nowhere in this Congress, but the just-released budget does signal the President’s priorities, a goal that was also furthered by the issuance of a fact sheet entitled, “An Economy Built to Last and Security for the LGBT Community.”
This three-page fact sheet has nothing specific to LGBT elders in it, but it does address many issues that affect elders as well as younger members of the community.
Perhaps not surprisingly given the pressure to reduce the federal budget, the fact sheet touts past commitments and advancements more than it does new or increased funding, with the significant exception of funding of multiple HIV programs. The policies that are listed in this memo but not directly linked to dollars include:
- Strengthened anti-discrimination enforcement
- Support for federal employee domestic partner benefits
- Work under the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which now includes bias crimes based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity
- Hospital visitation rights
The memo does note that the President has requested increased funding for the Community Relations Service in the Department of Justice, an agency that has worked with many communities to help them cope with anti-LGBT hate crimes. It also includes $86 million for a Department of Education program that includes addressing bullying among its responsibilities.
HIV is the area in which the most new dollars would be allocated:
Support the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and Expand Investments in Prevention, Care, and Research. The Budget expands access to HIV/AIDS prevention and care activities and supports the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: reducing HIV incidence, increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes, and reducing HIV-related health disparities. The Budget prioritizes HIV/AIDS resources within high-burden communities and among high-risk groups, including gay and bisexual men, Black Americans, Latino Americans and substance users. Compared to 2012, the Budget increases domestic discretionary HIV/AIDS funding at HHS by $119 million and Veterans Affairs (VA) HIV/AIDS funding by $74 million. Overall, total U.S. Government-wide spending on HIV/AIDS increases by $800 million in 2013.
The fact sheet is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet/an-economy-built-to-last-and-security-for-the-lgbt-community