19 U.S. Senators sent a letter calling to restore survey questions that assess whether key programs meet the needs of older Americans and people with disabilities within the LGBT community.
The Senators wrote, “Sexual orientation and gender identity questions on these surveys were designed to ensure that vital services were reaching vulnerable LGBT Americans. By rolling back data collection, it is possible that the needs of millions of Americans will go unmet.”
Among the group are U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Bob Casey (D-PA), along with Democratic Senators Patty Murray, Tammy Baldwin, Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, Sheldon Whitehouse, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Dianne Feinstein.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposal for the most recent National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants and the Centers for Independent Living Annual Program Performance Report deleted questions on sexual orientation and gender identity. The data collected by these questions help determine funding priorities for HHS and help guide local programs in their own decision making.