Thursday, September 25, 2008

Opposition to same-sex benefits for federal workers? See Chuck & Larry...

From today's Post re: a Senate hearing yesterday to discuss a bill sponsored by Joe Lieberman granting domestic partner benefits to federal workers...

"Doyle, 57, has been in a committed same-sex relationship for 21 years. As a high-level information management civil servant at the Environmental Protection Agency, he pays $120 a month for health insurance. His self-employed partner dishes out $700 for insurance with no prescription coverage.

Meanwhile, Doyle said his straight colleague in the next cubicle gets insurance covering his wife and two kids for $220. That means Doyle's family must pay far more for less coverage than his colleague."

"All but one of the five witnesses who testified favored Lieberman's legislation..."

"One problem the OPM has with the legislation is that it would allow an employee in a same-sex relationship to get family benefits once that partnership is certified with an affidavit. "OPM believes this process could lead to fraud and abuse in the programs we administer," Weizmann said.

To bolster his point that worries about cheats are realistic, he cited an unusual source: "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," an Adam Sandler movie about two firemen in Brooklyn who pretend they are gay so they can get domestic partner benefits. "The subject was . . . insurance fraud," Weizmann said. "This is not farfetched."

Leonard Hirsch, Federal GLOBE president, said in a telephone interview. "Currently, the proposed legislation mandates a higher level of certification for LGBT benefit enrollment than for heterosexual employees."

Mr Q is close to speechless...a federal hearing related to a bill for the very real problem of domestic partners not having access to the same insurance benefits that their heterosexual colleagues have and OPM comes to the hearing citing "Chuck & freakin' Larry"??!!

Even though its spelled out in the bill that same-sex couples must provide a HIGHER level of certification than heterosexual couples??

Unbelievable and insulting.

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