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GLAA urges equal treatment for domestic partners in program for workers with HIV
[Note: The proposed rulemaking discussed below establishes a program under which 420 people with HIV whose gross income is at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty line would qualify for various medical services. The hope is to help them recover enough to return to the workforce. GLAA supports the rulemaking. Our suggested correction would simply treat registered domestic partners the same as spouses for benefit limits.]
P.O. Box 75265
Washington, DC 20013
March 17, 2004
Senior Deputy Director
Medical Assistance Administration
Department of Health
825 North Capitol Street, N.E. 5th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20002
Dear Mr. Maruca:
We would like to recommend a change to the proposed rulemaking “Ticket to Work Demonstration Project for Individuals with HIV” as published in the March 5, 2004 issue of the DC Register.
Under eligibility requirements, Section 4101.1(c) states:
Meet the Qualified Medical Beneficiary (QMB) resources limits set forth in 42 U.S.C. §§1396a(a)(10)(E)(i), 1396d(p)(1), 1396d(p)(3). The resource limits shall be $4000 for an individual and $6000 for an his/her spouse;”
In addition to the omission of “individual and” prior to “his/her spouse,” the requirement ignores domestic partnerships program which has been in effect for more than one year. Domestic partnerships should be treated not as strangers under the law, but as couples with all of the rights, responsibilities and restrictions of married couples.
The second sentence should be replaced with “The resource limits shall be $4000 for an individual and $6000 for an individual and his/her spouse or domestic partner;”.
If a specific reference is needed to the D.C. Code’s definition of domestic partnerships, it is the Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992, effective June 11, 1992 (D.C. Law 9-114; D.C. Official Code § 32-701).
We hope that you will include this amendment in the final rulemaking. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
cc: Mayor Anthony Williams
All DC Councilmembers
James Buford, Director of the Department of Health
Robert Spagnoletti, Corporation Counsel
Wanda Alston, Special Assistant to the Mayor for GLBT Affairs