(Washington, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today issued the following statement following reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under the leadership of Secretary Tom Price, has eliminated questions about LGBTQ people from two critical surveys, the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants and Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living:
“I am deeply troubled that the Trump Administration has moved to stop collecting data on LGBTQ individuals in two key national surveys,” said Senator Patty Murray. “There can be no possible justification for this action. I have repeatedly urged the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies to include LGBTQ individuals in data collection efforts to help us better understand the challenges they face, and what can be done about it. Secretary Price should immediately resume this data collection and provide a detailed explanation for why this decision was first ordered—and he should know that he will be held accountable, every step of the way, for any harm that arises from his actions against LGBTQ Americans.”
Last year, Sens. Murray and Baldwin introduced the LGBT Data Inclusion Act to require federal agencies that collect information through a survey that includes demographic data to establish data standards that appropriately include LGBTQ people in data collection and reporting.