Steve Rothaus' Gay South Florida blog posted this response last night from Janice Langbehn, who got a call last night from President Barack Obama about his new policy requiring hospitals to allow patient visits from their same-sex partners. His action was inspired by Langbehn, who says a social worker at Jackson Memorial Hospital wouldn't allow her to be with her dying partner in 2007.
The administration sent out a press release about the new policy while Obama was at a Miami fundraiser last night.
Well the President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama, just called me personally from Air Force One. He was gracious and told me a press release is going out stated from the White House. Basically he has signed a presidential memorandum in the wake of Lisa's death -- which the president said was outrageous how our family was treated -- to direct HHS to change policies that any facility receiving Medicaid or Medicare funds must expand their definition of family. And he has made this change based on our family's story. He spoke specifically about our family and the tragic way in Lisa died. I thanked the president for recognizing our family and that this will be a wonderful legacy of our children and Lisa. Of course you can guess that I am blown away that the White House was watching our story and would act on it. This is Lisa's legacy right here -- no one should die alone -- no matter who they love.
Thank you for all the support - especially Lambda Legal and my family.