So how about that “courageous” health care bill decision in the House, where a vote of 220-215 might actually hand Democrats and the White House something to look back upon fondly one day and be able to say, “Wow, we didn’t fuck that up!” But with the Democrats wholeheartedly turning their backs on homos, might this health care bill actually include some things for the Gs?
Led by Washington’s Rep. Jim McDermott, the bill would equalize treatment of health care benefits for same-sex domestic partners. Currently, heterosexual partners and their families who receive health care benefits from their employers get those benefits tax-free, while gay couples were walloped with a tax bill for those same benefits; their employers, meanwhile, sometimes also had to pay taxes on those benefits. But new language would dictate those benefits be provided tax-free to domestic partners.
The move would close an average $1,100/year gap in health care costs between straight and gay couples.
The bill would also allow Medicaid programs to fund the early treatment for those afflicted with HIV, rather than providing funds only after patients developed full-blown AIDS. Further, it creates a class distinction for LGBT Americans, identifying them as a health care minority and thus makes funds eligible for the specific study of health care problems within the community.
But don’t get too excited just yet: The Senate must still vote on the “$1.1 trillion over 10 years” bill, where the main discrepancy will likely be over funding for abortions; House Democrats gave in on that point in order to get the bill passed (with a single Republican vote, from Louisiana’s Rep. Anh Cao).