Posted by: brian | January 7, 2008

Dear Jesus and the G.O.P.

Here’s a little story for my Xian and Republican friends.

Once upon a time there was a couple who’d been together for many years. We’ll call them B1 and B2. In every respect but the legal one, you could say they were married. B1 decided to return to school for a graduate degree, and gave up gainful employment to do so. Naturally, this sacrifice of income was accompanied by a loss of health insurance benefits as well. Fortunately, B2 had a job that offered health insurance for both of them, and so all was well. B2’s employer, however, was bought out by a company less inclined to offer insurance coverage to the euphemistically-termed “domestic partners” of a particular subset of their employees, but agreed to continue the coverage for employees who had received it in the past.

This situation went on until the final year of B1’s education, when B2’s employer decided that they would no longer pay any portion of the insurance premium for B1. While the opportunity still existed to receive coverage through the employer, the cost for B2 would increase by almost 400%. Seeking a more acceptable alternative, B1 decided to enroll in the school’s insurance plan, which was much cheaper and offered good coverage. The catch was that for 21 days at the beginning of the calendar year, before the school term began, B1 would be without insurance. B1 ordered enough of the necessary prescriptions to remain sane until the new coverage kicked in, and carefully scheduled medical appointments after the 22nd day of the new year.

But this stop-gap measure would prove inadequate. On the 7th day of the new year, B1 received a letter, dated the last day of the previous year, indicating that B1 was not eligible to use the prescription drug service at the time the order was placed, 5 days before that year ended. B1 was confused – B2 had been paying the same premium for insurance coverage throughout the year. Why would coverage be terminated in the middle of the year, and why would they not have been notified? There was obviously an error, and although B1 anticipated a fight from the insurance company, it would not be difficult to rectify – or so B1 assumed.

As it turned out, B1’s coverage had been terminated, according to the insurance company, on the first day of May in the previous year. This was ridiculous – B1 told the representative that claims had been paid and prescriptions filled through November, no questions asked. After putting B1 on hold, the representative returned to state that B2’s employer had been slow turning in the paperwork to update their records – instead of notifying the insurance company in May, they waited until the 4th of December to do so. As a result, the insurance company continued to cover B1 up to the point that update was made, despite the fact that the employer didn’t want B1 to receive benefits after April 30th.

My question for the Jesus-fucking Republicans out there is this: do you think that couples like B1 and B2, who are currently denied the right to legal recognition of their relationship, ought to receive the same treatment that legally married couples receive, vis-a-vis said relationships?

Answer carefully, and stay tuned to find out how this situation is resolved.

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