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Archive for Thursday, May 5, 2011

Douglas County Commission approves domestic partner benefits plan

May 5, 2011

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County commissioners Wednesday approved a new county health insurance plan that includes domestic partner benefit coverage.

Commissioner Jim Flory, who voted against the plan because of the extension, said there were many other relationships that weren’t covered under the plan, including grandparents taking care of grandchildren, a sibling caring for another sibling and a person caring for a best friend. Commissioner Mike Gaughan, who originally suggested the change, said the plan was necessary for equality.

“This is the one relationship that the state has precluded loved ones from accessing the equal rights,” Gaughan said.

A number of residents spoke in favor of the plan again at Wednesday’s meeting, while the Rev. Leo Barbee Jr. spoke against it.

“It is a moral decision, whether you like it or not. We’re saying that domestic partners are equal to families,” he said.

Commissioners Gaughan and Nancy Thellman voted in favor of the plan, which also extended coverage to employees’ dependents under the age of 26 and eliminated the lifetime benefit maximum.

Comments

Joseph Jarvis 2 years, 11 months ago

To recap, here are the verbatim things commenters have said about gays and lesbians:

unnatural, ungodly, sinners, wicked, destructive, radical, like beastiality, like adulters, sick, not normal, people with problems, unhealthy, making a lifestyle choice, weak, moral failures.

Those are the ones that moderators didn't remove.

That a liberal community like Lawrence could produce comments like those proves the need for adding LGBT to nondiscrimination laws.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 11 months ago

It is time we ended the politization of the gay rights issue.

If you have a problem with the fact that gay people exist, take it up with God.

Ask him why he created gay people. When you find out, let the rest of us know.

Truthfully, they make good neighbors.

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Inspector_Callahan 2 years, 11 months ago

Normalizing homosexuality is insane. If you have problems, keep it to yourself! Don't tell me I should accept it, or give it special attention. I certainly don't think taxpayers should be forced to pay for care-geez!

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Inspector_Callahan 2 years, 11 months ago

You Lawrence folks are some sick individuals

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

You know what? I'd swear I just saw the very same post by merrill on another thread this morning.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

Hey women unfortunately the repub party is NOT made up of Mike Gaughan's === yes that is sad.

Women the republican party CANNOT be trusted with women's issues across the board.

Women,YOU are the largest voting block in America!

  1. "The GOP's stealth plan to redefine rape," Mother Jones, May 3, 2011. http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/04/redefine-rape-hr-3-abortion-stealth

Tue May. 3, 2011

They're doing it again: After jettisoning controversial legislative language narrowing the definition of rape for the purposes of abortion law, House Republicans are attempting a backdoor maneuver to ensure that solely victims of "forcible rape" are eligible for federal funding if they seek abortions.

In February, Republicans drew widespread condemnation for their "forcible rape" proposal, which legal experts said would have excluded statutory rape victims and others from obtaining abortions through Medicaid.

Amidst public outcry and a protest campaign by left-leaning groups, Republicans abandoned the language, which had been included in the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," a bill the GOP leadership numbered H.R. 3 to signify its high priority to the party.

But while they've amended their legislation, which faces a floor vote in the House on Wednesday, Republicans haven't stopped trying to narrow the already small exception under which federal funding for abortions is permissible.

They've used a sly legislative maneuver to make sure that even though the language of the bill is different, the effect remains the same.

Women the republican party CANNOT be trusted with women's issues across the board.

Women,YOU are the largest voting block in America!

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/04/redefine-rape-hr-3-abortion-stealth

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tange 2 years, 11 months ago

I'll still be opting for the foreign-partner-with-benefits plan.

/ foreign? heck that last one was from another planet. vive la difference!

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cleifer 2 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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nativeson 2 years, 11 months ago

The issue regarding cost is legitimate, and I do not believe that any survey can predict the expanded cost. The fact remains it will cost more in claims and administration, so it will result in either more cost for the County or higher employee premiums. The accusation that the argument is specious and a cover for anti-gay sentiments is unfortunate. The County has not counted the cost.

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simpleman95 2 years, 11 months ago

10 homos is still more tax dollars!

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simpleman95 2 years, 11 months ago

10 homos is still more tax dollars!

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kcglowboy 2 years, 11 months ago

Bravo to the county commission for doing the right thing. And to those who say it will raise taxes, your ignorance can be excused because this article fails to mention what previous articles said: a county survey showed this extension is expected to add about 10 people to the health plan. Ten. In other words, very little economic impact. This was about doing the right thing.

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 11 months ago

This is a huge slap in the face to all Kansas families... this is an attempt to garner support from the liberal homosexuals. Traditional family values are once again under attack by unnatural and ungodly people who don't even understand why we desire to protect the family. Read your Bible and repent from what is clearly a sin and wicked in God's eyes.

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consumer1 2 years, 11 months ago

And it will force all County employees to pony up more money for health insurance.

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 11 months ago

This decision will eventually increase our taxes which makes it even more ridiculous.

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consumer1 2 years, 11 months ago

the carnival is in town, and has decided to stay here.

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MarcoPogo 2 years, 11 months ago

Domestic partners should have to supply a long form certificate that offers proof that they are gay. Otherwise, we may encounter what is known as the Jack Tripper contingency just milking the system like it was Stanley Roper.

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taiwantea 2 years, 11 months ago

Time for the County to start paying it forward. Way to give back.

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simpleman95 2 years, 11 months ago

pro gay statements only please..........per the gayrod who moderates this one-way discussion..hahahaha

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Bob Forer 2 years, 11 months ago

I am sure there will only be a small handful of folks added to the county's coverage as a result of this change, and therefore, the cost prohibitive argument is specious, and probably a cover for those anti-gay people who are too ashamed to admit they are bigots.

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simpleman95 2 years, 11 months ago

Wouldn't want to hear an opposing opinion now would we......typical double liberal standard...again doesn't surprise me- LOL

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simpleman95 2 years, 11 months ago

Keep deleting my comments.........Lawrence is in lalala land!

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bobberboy 2 years, 11 months ago

Hey, when's the first Gay parade ?

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bootlegger 2 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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child_rape_is_funny 2 years, 11 months ago

Ţ͕̣̤̫͓̤͖̔͊̃͝ͅo̢̰̙̣̲̙̙̠̼͋͗͋͢͟ ̛ͣ̏̑̀̊͏̟̟i̷̺̩̝̗̦̝̗̜ͭ̔̎͗ͯ̒ͪ̽͡n̺̠̄̈͒́͟vͭ͆ͤ́̔ͮͯ҉̗̞o̵̢̢̝̿͐̍̒ķ̥̙͕̟͉̠͕ͨ̈͆͊̄ͥ͊͠e͂ͫͭ̑ͤ́ͧͨ͘҉͓̦̩̙͖ͅ ̸̖͈̫͚͌ͥ͗ͬͭͮ͛̀t̶̥̺̹͙̓̋͟ͅh̛̝͔̰̬̰̭̺̭̯̔ͬ̆̑̿̓̂̏́e̩͇͚͖̘ͧ͐̂́ ̌̄́̉͗̏̂̔̄͜͠҉̱͔̹͓̜ḥ̢̳͙͈̪͋͒͛̄̀ͯi̵̲̤͓̥ͯ̓̏̄̓͛v̧̙̥̻̮̞͕͙̠͊̀ͫͩë͕̠̰ͯͦ͗ͣ̋-̖̥̜̘̌̊̓̓͗ͅm̸̦͕͚̭̹̘̍͂ͭ͜i̸̛̠̗̼͖͊ͮ̌ͩ̒̒n̢̫̪̰͚ͦ̎̂̀ͩ͢͠d̢͍͍͍̠̭̀̌̑̔̔́ ̮̜̙̫͉͙ͪ̌ͤ̀ͪ͐̿̀r̺͓̬̤̱͔͊̽̿e̶̵̺̗̎̔̉̔ͥ̚p̡̡̼͈͔̰̝̭̓ͤ̍̓͆͂͒́͝r̘͎͒͆ͩ̉̓́eͭ̕͏̛͕̮͉̪̤͖s̨̯͇͈͈̖̣̣̼͇̿͊̇͐ͣͨͫ̄e̴̪ͣ̀n̥͍̓͗̀͞ͅt̛̾҉̮̯̗̠i̧͓̳͚̿̄̇ͤ̋̃ͤ͠n̺̲͚̙̊̎͞g̷̨̙̤̭͉̲ͧ̽ͅ ͨ̐͞҉̵̺̝͎̫c̶̬͎̝̙̹̒ͅh̡̡̫̘̱̫̰̙̦̘̦̐ͬ͒ͯͣ̋ͤå̬̬̺̲ͬ̆̽õ̸̪͎̰̻̣̽ͫͣͨͯ͢ş̅͋ͧ̊҉͓͔̼ͅ.͚̤̻̥͓̫́̃ͯ̌̔̍͢ ̪̌̾͠I̡̲̣̗͇̗̬͊̆̇͠͡n̨̛̳̭ͩͮ̽̂͆̾ͯ̀̚v͚̼͈̇̽ͧ̌̍͊́̚o̭͇̓ͤ̃̾ͪ͊͘͠ǩ̴̷͇͔̯͆̑͆͛̐ͭ̊̀īͪͯ͋ͥͦ̂͟҉̧̜̠͕n̼̘̖̣̖͛͗̕g̡͈̟͕̦̪̼̰͕͆͑ͪͥ̑ͦ̀ ̢̡̥͔͙͉̼̦̮̪̗̅̒̒̆t̴̡̥͉̟̜̦̮ͧ͘ḥ̵̣̺̥̤̘͋͋ͥ͋͋͑̚e̢̦̾͛ ̿̉̃̆̏̎҉̤̣̦̝̳̩̯́͞f̵̼͙͕̰̱͔͙͎̅͘e̶̲̱͂̐̀̑̉̐̇͡e̷̸̜̮̻̭͕̖͇ͦ̆̈̋ͦ̋͗l͉͍̜̺̗͎̖͍̳ͯͩ͂ͣï͖̱͇̥͈͔̺̇̓́̑̉ͩn̡̯̠̦̹̄͆ͯ͢͜ͅg̵̹͙̗̼̙̟̩͊͐ͮͤ̆́͘ ̡̣̓̓͋ơ̴̯̽ͬ͛̅͆͂͑̀ͅf̒͌̈́ͣ̋̒ͫ͏̮̲͉̙̯̜ ̄͏̷͙̠͙c͂ͩ̑̀̍͑͏̡͓̩̜͎̰̱ͅͅh̺̱̮̻̳ͥ͟͠ą̞͈̻̟͇̳̖͒͛ͤ̇̂͆͆͡ͅo̅ͪͪͨͤ҉̴̥̖̩s̯̻̟̗ͧͧ̎ͥ.̶̷͍̏̀ ̨͒̾ͤ̊̎͘҉̬̯̦̱̱̣͓̺Wͮ̋̒҉̷̞͍̼͕͓͘ͅi̞̫ͤ̆͝t̸͕̩͉̝̼͒̎̅͊ͤ́͢h̬̞̗̗͈̉ͯ͟ ̸̟̬̃͐ͥ͑̆ͦ͂̿͟o̸̳̜͎̥̭̙̲̮ͣͯ̍ͨù̷͎̻̓́̔̎̉̓͜ṭ̼̹̳̫̫ͮ̍́̓̑̚͟ ̨̲̗͔͉̱̣͚̖͋̂̕͠ö̩̝̦͖̞ͦ̐ͨ́͐r̞̤̰̔ͬ͒͊ͅd̢̤̳͖͕͆̀̏̈́ͤͥ͐̽̂ė̷͎̥̜͑̇ͬ̉̑͂r̡͍͇̺͙ͩ͌ͥ́̓̿̅.̵̺̻̳̳͉̜̋̈́ͭ͜ ̵ͤ̓͑͋ͧ̈ͦ̏͌҉͚̮̝̤̠͡T̵͎̙̳̪͊̇͑h̸̡̝̱̻̹̠̫͍̥̿̈ͮ̈͊̈́͆͠ͅè̵͎̠̗̫͙̮̟͐̾̇ͬ͑ ̛̱̼̟̞̲̳̞̐̀̏ͥ̒ͅŅ̻̹̭̫̪̮̝̇͌́ͤ͛̏ͫ͟e̗ͣ̉̿̾̚ẓ̧̋̆p̴̤͕ͥ͡ẻ̬͉͓̪ͬ̈́̉͋̀ͦ͝ͅr͓͉̺̠̥ͭ̋̓͒͗̀d̷̼̭͈̔ͤ̄ͬ͠i̞̮̖̜̬͂̎ͮ͊ͣ̎a̦̯͈̦͓͔̳̙̓̈̽͘ń̢̡̃͆͑̆͛҉̜̲ ̶͓͉̯̻̯̼̠̲̋̄͞͡ḩ̴̨͔̗͙̳͔͎̗̘͎ͭ̿͌̿̐͗̚̚i̶̸̼̖̞̲̭͋ͭͧ͋̑͠ṿ̧̮̹̋̈ͯͮͣe̴̝̖͓ͯ̈́̾-̧̥̥͕͔ͩ̐͐ͭm̞͐̂̀į͎̜̱̭̹̝̹̜̇͐́͘ṋ̲͔͍͙͈̟̱̑̓͡͠d̛͎̠̤͇̙͑̎͊̚ ̣̱͚̪̫ͨͮ̀͟o̡̰̮̣̖͊͌̑̽̂ͫ̅ͨ͢f̛̫̝̖̭ͪ̑͂̀ ̸͖͓͈͓̯̽ͦ̓͒͘c̐͂̾͐҉̺̩̠h̸̛͕̪̫̫͒ͮ͆̊̾͜a͍͈͈̠͙͉̓̇̏̉ͩ̒ͯͩ́͡o̴͈̮̥̟ͪ͒̇s̷͔͔̼̦̮͚͋̉ͭ̀.͙͇̞͊̆̑̃͢ ̌͊҉̛̳̦͔̫̼̼̤̲͔Z̓̽̊̽ͩͤͭ͡҉̩̹̰͈ḁ̯̰̑ͦ̉́̚̚l̞͈̺̭̃̈́͋̓͝g̵̭̺̥ͣͫ̽͑̒̓͊͂oͩ̄̃ͩ͛̾ͤ͏̦̗͔̰.̢͍̲̼̫ͪ̋̾̋̌̑̂̈́́ ̴̷̟͓͕͖͍̜̟ͤ̾ͮͅͅ ̤͌ͮ̉͡H̰̣̻͚̥̄̍̇ͩ͌̔ë͍̯̼͔̫̯̟́͌͆͑̐ͪ́͘͝ ̯͍̱̬̞̠͕̺̿̑͢w̶̞͔̓͂̈ͪ̈̔ͬ̏h̟̲̙̓͐̆̌o͈̙̝̤͍̓͌̀͂̔́ͣͬ ̡̫̟̮̪̫͉̰̭͉̇̿̇W̜ͥ͊̓ͬͩ͒̕ͅä̝̝͇̙̌ͩͤ͆ͫ̌̀͑͞ï̸͈̝͑͌̊ͬ̌̕t̴̲͍̘̘͈̪͉̫́ͭ͂̃͑ͭ́s̜̰͎͗ ͊ͣ͆͛͂̐̄ͨ҉͚̼͓̼͕̪͙B̝̖̈ͯ̎͊͂̽̚͘͡e̶̠̺̫̹̘̝̎̂̍͋́̄͞h̡͂͏̠͇̖i̴ͦ̔͆͐̊̍́͊͏̱͇̺̻̗̤̖n͚͇̖̪̪̻͎̮͛̃̂͘d̸͕̞̳̞̬͔̹̊͑ͤ́ͭ ͂̚҉̫̱T̛̤͕̋̉̇͛͋̕h̭̦͂ͯͭ͒e͔̗͖̩̝͓̗ͧ͐́ ̨̳̣͙̰̺̥̭͖ͮ͋͛͐͒Ẃ̡̟̯̥̺̤͈̇̾͐͌͑̆̕ͅă̸̧̙̳ͮͮͣ̽̚ḻ̵̨͇̦̬̲̲̭̯̆̓̌̓l̻̒̀͊͆͊̂͗͂̀.ͨ̒̍͏̷̱͎̰̩̻̝̹̲̙͞ ̷͕͔̖̋́͞Z̶̦̣͙͙̭̯̏͋̍̇͐͐ͪ̇̕͠Ǎ̛̫̦̱͚̬͈̠̜ͪͤĻ̗͖͚̰͋ͮ͌̾̃ͩ͆ͥ́ͅG̜̣͎̣̲̭̈́O̢͔̺͔̣͚͇ͫͥͣ͆̅!̬̥̻̤̙̖̫͙̦ͥ̔̿̐͐̈͋ͣ́

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simpleman95 2 years, 11 months ago

99% of people are anti-gay because it is NOT normal. It's no different than any other psychological disorder. Keep it yourself and nobody will give a darn, but stop continuosly calling it to everyone's attention. Gees!

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whtevr30 2 years, 11 months ago

Clearly Jim Flory is anti gay and was going to vote no from the start. First he claims the budget can't handle this type of coverage and now he claims it's not fair to everyone. The fact is that these domestic partners are going to have to pay taxes on $365 more per month than any heterosexual family covered in addition to the actual cost of the premium. The employee will pay more, a lot more. The paper didn't publicize that. If Flory would have read his own county personnel policy he would have known before making the comment to LJW that a grandparent caring for their child CAN insure them. Commissioner Jim Flory, who voted against the plan because of the extension said there were many other relationships that were not covered under the plan, including grandparents taking care of grandchildren. While a general grandparent cannot cover their grandchild a grandparent that has been appointed by the court as a guardian can cover their grandchild. It's not hard to get guardianship of a child you are truly caring for and it is actually done quite often in this scenario. His claim came straight from this comment board on the previous article. And I am sorry but his claim is not accurate. If you are anti gay rights you should just own that and not make up bogus reasons to disagree with a policy change.

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simpleman95 2 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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simpleman95 2 years, 11 months ago

You all are some sick people there in Loserville! Can't say I'm surprised by it though. You all should be real proud!

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wmathews 2 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Frightwig 2 years, 11 months ago

So a guy can get insurance coverage for his girlfriend but a grandparent cannot get coverage for a grandchild that they're raising?

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 11 months ago

Good move. Welcome to the 21st. century.

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nativeson 2 years, 11 months ago

This decision will have an unknown cost impact on the self-insured plan for the County. Nationally, statistics indicate that most domestic partner relationships are two-income with access to health care by both partners. So, it is likely that those who are added will be people who unfortunately do not have other alternatives.

This also places County staff in the position of monitoring affidavits that will be used to establish coverage. These are not binding documents, and the potential for fraud is siginificant. The County will need to decide how closely they chose to audit these statements. Have they considered the administrative cost?

I would like to see many bigger health care issues resolved. However, every taxpayer in Douglas County will pay higher taxes as a result of this policy. I would expect health care costs for County employees to growth at a double-digit rate over the next year as a result of expanded coverage.

This County Commission and the former group has seen the mill levy grow from 30 mills in 2007 to just under 36 mills in 2010. A 20% growth in the mill over 4 years. How many more costs will be added before this County Commission decides to practice fiscal restraint?

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dragonwagon2 2 years, 11 months ago

Good move and yes, domestic partners ARE family.

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cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

If I work for Douglas County, can I now get our dog covered under our family health insurance policy? She's part of our family, you know.

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Erin Graham 2 years, 11 months ago

What a positive step in the right direction for once! I'd like to read the full literature... it'd be nice to see the rest of the mentioned relationships covered, but this is a huge step forward for a county in a state that's otherwise regressing back to the dark ages. Way to go, commissioners!

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deec 2 years, 11 months ago

“It is a moral decision, whether you like it or not. We’re saying that domestic partners are equal to families,” he said." Well, yeah. 'Cause they are.

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