Bonus for LGBT partners in House healthcare bill
 

Seattle Gay News
Mobile Edition
rss: SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml



SGN Mobile Front Page

SGN ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SECTION

MOVIE REVIEWS
CALENDAR
NORTHWEST NEWS CALENDAR
CLASSIFIED

click here to go to the main SGN website

 

posted Friday, November 13, 2009 - Volume 37 Issue 46

Bonus for LGBT partners in House healthcare bill
by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Workers whose employers offer health insurance for their domestic partners may pay lower taxes, thanks to Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.).

The healthcare reform bill passed Saturday, November 7, by the US House of Representatives included an amendment introduced by McDermott which would make such benefits tax-free, just like health benefits provided to the married spouse of an employee.

Domestic partner health benefits are now treated as taxable income for the employee, and the employer may also owe payroll taxes on their fair-market value.

LGBT activists have long been trying to change the tax treatment of health benefits provided by employers to the domestic partners of their employees.

McDermott, who has advocated long and hard for the change, said it would "correct a longstanding injustice, end a blatant inequity in the tax code and help make health care coverage more affordable for more Americans."

Openly Lesbian Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) said the tax on domestic partner health benefits was an unfair burden on LGBT workers.

"That's a significant burden in terms of cost - and depending on what tax bracket they're in, that can be a lot," she said. "The tax burden on that employee is much more than their married counterpart&."

HRC President Joe Solmonese said federal tax law had not kept up with changes in the workplace.

"I meet people all the time who are gratified they work for companies that offer domestic partner benefits," he said. "But they pass on the benefits because they cannot afford the taxes that go with the benefits."

McDermott's amendment duplicates the language contained in a stand-alone bill he introduced in May of this year, the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act of 2009. Twenty-eight House members co-sponsored the bill, including Baldwin, Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican who frequently crosses the aisle to support pro-LGBT legislation.

The companion Senate bill, designated S 1153, was introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) with 12 co-sponsors, including Washington state Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

S 1153 has not yet had a hearing before s Senate committee, a necessary prerequisite before coming to the floor for a vote. It is not presently included as an amendment in any of the Senate healthcare bills under discussion.

A spokesperson for Sen. Maria Cantwell told SGN that "under Senate rules, any and all amendments will have to be submitted in advance, and then [Majority Leader] Sen. Reid (D-Nev.) will negotiate how many will be introduced on each side."

Even if the measure is not passed in the Senate, it can still be introduced in the final version of the bill during the process of reconciliation, in which differences in the House and Senate healthcare bills will be worked out.



next story
Lt. Dan Choi speaks out at University of Puget Sound
------------------------------
Equal Rights Washington toasts equality
------------------------------
DADT repeal and ENDA in 2010?
------------------------------
Rhode Island Governor vetoes pro-Gay bill
------------------------------
General Gayety: Waiting on the outcome
------------------------------
New book explores modern Gay families
------------------------------
Salt Lake City adopts pro-Gay statutes with LDS Church support
------------------------------
Marine Corps Commandant supports 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
------------------------------
Californians propose repealing Prop 8 in 2010
------------------------------
UPDATE: Chiefs release Johnson after second suspension in a year
------------------------------
Pioneering activist and academic to receive ACLU award
------------------------------
AMA calls for full repeal of DADT
------------------------------
Café Metropolitan owner celebrates birthday with Lambert House donation
------------------------------
BaileyCoy Books announces closure
------------------------------
Cubs get pro baseball's first Gay owner
------------------------------
Bonus for LGBT partners in House healthcare bill
------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------
Michigan state representative plans to overturn ban on same-sex marriage
------------------------------
County's Equal Benefits Ordinance under threat again
------------------------------
Fort Worth protests light discipline for bar raid officers
------------------------------
Anti-Gay Attacks Planned Against Houston Mayoral Candidate Parker
------------------------------
Observations from the Trenches in Maine
------------------------------
NH gay marriage law challenged
------------------------------
Censored gay sex scenes in From Here to Eternity revealed
------------------------------
Lambda sues Arizona for being hateful
------------------------------
Gay soldier: Don't fire me
------------------------------
New Lutheran body to form after gay pastor vote
------------------------------
Gay-marriage opponents sue to force referendum
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
County's Equal Benefits Ordinance under threat again
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!