Last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of most of the provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act (popularly known as “Obamacare”) left in place upcoming changes to Medicaid that will particularly help low-income LGBT people.
The new law permits states to expand Medicaid coverage to all Americans under the age of 65 who make less than $15,000 per year (the Supreme Court struck down the provision that would have withheld ALL Medicaid funds from states that refused to do so, making this now a truly optional program). This provision could provide care to an additional 16 million currently uninsured people, including many LGBT people, who on average have less income than non-LGBT people. The provision also extends Medicaid coverage to people living with HIV earlier in the course of the disease, again affecting a disproportionate number of LGBT people.
A blog post on this topic, written by two health policy analysts for LGBT Progress, is available at http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/06/28/508590/how-medicaid-expansion-affects-gay-and-transgender-communities/