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The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s health care legislation will give the Health and Human Services secretary the authority to develop “standards of measuring gender” -- as opposed to using the traditional "male" and "female" categories -- in a database of all who apply or participate in government-run or government-supported health care plans.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is required by the proposed law -- The Affordable Health Choices Act,which was voted out of committee on July 15 -- to create a database within one year of the law’s enactment that will include detailed information about those who sign up for government-run or supported health care programs, including their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language and disabilities.
The language is found on page 410 and 411 of the 615 document under SEC. 332: Understanding Health Disparities: Data Collection and Analysis.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. “Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.