As Long As We Are Complaining About Obama Not Doing Anything...
by Brian Chase
Posted on June 19, 2009
Anybody remember the "Tax Equity For Health Plan Beneficiaries Act"? I didn't think so. It’s the federal bill that would end the unfair taxation of health insurance benefits for domestic partners.
Right now, if your employer provides health insurance for your domestic partner or same-sex spouse, the insurance is taxed as income. Economist Lee Badgett estimates that this discrimination costs an average of $1069 per year and takes a collective $178 million dollars per year out of the pockets of gay and lesbian families. The Tax Equity Act would fix all of that.
The Tax Equity Act is co-sponsored by a Republican, has the backing of a huge swath of corporate America, and would provide real, concrete financial relief for same-sex couples. So when we list all of the things Obama and the Democrats in Congress aren’t doing for us, why do we keep forgetting about this bill?
A hate crime bill may be psychologically satisfying, but it isn’t going to do a thing to reduce hate crimes. ENDA is just going to give us another blistering fight over the political feasibility of transgender inclusion. The Democrats are so terrified of looking anti-military that they probably won't repeal Don’t Ask Don't Tell until the ghost of Douglas MacArthur appears before a joint session of Congress and reveals that he was actually gay himself. So why don't we focus on something that can actually pass and would do a tremendous amount of good?
I know "tax relief" and "backed by corporate America" are dirty, dirty phrases to many on the left, but this bill really shouldn’t be allowed to die on the vine.