Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Insurance discrimination. At today's workplace presentation on our new "beneflex" plan the company owner from California glibly noted that domestic partners and significant others would not be covered as per IRS regulations. The second time he brought this up I interrupted him and asked what was going to happen with the marriages in San Francisco and Massachusetts. He didn't want to talk about this and repeated the domestic partner/significant other rule. I told him, in front of my co-workers that I thought he was being flippant and asked him what his company would be doing to change this. He said "Nothing" and then refused to discuss it further.

My co-workers failed to understand my point. "Oh, he wasn't being flippant" they say, "and why should his company do anything to change IRS rules." I respond by noting that he had already noted the numerous changes in IRS rules that have taken place in the last 18 years this particular plan has been in effect. Obviously, the industry hires lobbyists to push for these changes. My company has a queer, two dykes, and a woman with a domestic partner. The overhead money we generate are helping to pay his company for his services. Ten percent of the employees are not getting the same benefits as the "traditional married/persons with kids" because of IRS rules. The benefits company should be interested in changing those rules for both financial reasons (they would make more profit with more individuals covered) and to better represent the workers of the people paying into the plan.

I'm really pissed off and the reaction of my co-workers (Homer is getting over-excited and there's nothing that can be done about it) makes me even angrier. Where's my baseball bat?

Later: At home, I'm still pissed off. The reactions of my co-workers were amazing- "You were making a big deal out of nothing" and "I don't think you should have told him he was flippant."

Let's see, why shouldn't I be pissed off. Straight people can go get married and within a few minutes receive a whole set of rights that are routinely denied gays and lesbians. Of the 40 or so people I work with there are four or five who are married and have no intention/ability to have kids, but still have access to lots of rights that I don't have. And then there are the ones with kids who benefit from my paying taxes for schools. So you would think the co-workers would spend a few minutes and think about the issue. But since they have theres, they aren't particularly interested in the topic.

Meanwhile, insurance and benefit companies are willing to take gay/lesbian money but are not interested in going to Congress and telling them to change the laws. It makes me livid. Where the fuck is that bat?

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