KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Supreme Court May Decide Gay Health Benefits Issues

The justices could consider same-sex marriage, which would affect health benefits for federal employees and possibly Medicaid.

The Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle: Gay Marriage Before Supreme Court? Cases Weighed
Three weeks after voters backed same-sex marriage in three states and defeated a ban in a fourth, the justices are meeting Friday to decide whether they should deal sooner rather than later with the claim that the Constitution gives people the right to marry regardless of sexual orientation. The court also could duck the ultimate question for now and instead focus on a narrower but still important issue: whether Congress can prevent legally married gay Americans from receiving federal benefits otherwise available to married couples (Sherman, 11/30).

The Hill: Supreme Court Poised To Enter Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage
Observers predict the justices will take up at least one of [the cases] — most likely a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). ... Another DOMA case before the Supreme Court comes from Massachusetts, where the state complained that the law prohibits it from combining the incomes of a same-sex couple when determining whether they are eligible for Medicaid. The state has had to give benefits to people who shouldn’t have been eligible because of DOMA, Massachusetts says (Baker, 11/29).

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