With the House of Representatives in Republican hands and the number of Republicans in the Senate sufficient to prevent a vote on anything they solidly oppose, the Obama Administration is limited in what it can accomplish for the LGBT community that requires legislation. But the process of scrutinizing existing statutes and regulations and figuring out what might be accomplished through administrative actions continues. In June 2009 the President marked Gay Pride Month by instructing the Executive Branch agencies to get to work figuring out what could be done administratively, and the fruits of that process have been trickling out over the past two years.
Here is the most recent: A letter went out today from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to State Medicaid Directors, advising them of circumstances where state Medicaid programs may be able to voluntarily take account of the existence of same-sex partner relationships in ways that would be advantageous to LGBT Medicaid recipients and their same-sex partners. A colleague here at NY Law School who specializes in the field of "elder law" sent me a link to the letter with the following comment: "It is an extremely important policy change and on first look seems to be quite positive