President Obama has created additional healthcare rights for gay individuals. Although the rule changes do not immediately go into effect, they are designed to help same-sex partners get visitation rights at hospitals. In addition, the rules should make it easier for partners to make decisions regarding their partners medical condition. President Obama said the new rules will affect any hospital that participates in Medicare or Medicaid. The goal is to create visitation rules that are similar to those available to close family members.
The President said, in part, his memorandum was aimed at alleviating the issue of visitation rights, because "Every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindness and caring of a loved one at their sides . . . ."
Obama Widens Medical Rights for Gay Partners | The New York Times