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How do you feel about offering benefits to domestic partners?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 2, 2008

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Photo of Simon Skinner

“I think they should define what a domestic partner is and have a good length for how long they’ve been together, maybe a three-year limit.”

Photo of Meredith Moore

“An important part about equality is first opening up people’s minds and improving everyone’s quality of life. Job benefits are part of that. I would hate to see people turn down jobs at Kansas University because we were perceived as inconsiderate.”

Photo of Ivan Hart

“I think homosexual couples should be married. I don’t even like the name domestic partnership. I think it’s lame. Marriage between people is marriage.”

Photo of Dawn Munger

“I think if they allow domestic partnership here, you should probably go ahead and allow benefits. I think they should treat it like a marriage.”

Comments

bobberboy 6 years, 1 month ago

I think they should get all the free condoms they want - you know, cut down the spread of AIDS.

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jonas 6 years, 1 month ago

"traditional free-market theory would dictate that the demand would be higher in areas where the supply is lower"

I don't think this is correct. According to traditional free-market theory, demand is a function separate from the supply, and the differences in supply would lead to different prices for the services in question. I haven't read much on Induced Demand, but it would seem to work for certain types of services and behaviors, such as voluntary items like above-mentioned CT scans. At any rate, an area where supply is lower would not force demand higher, it just means a discrepency in the amount offered and the amount desired. If supply is lower than demand, then the price goes up. At least according to tradition market theory.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 years, 1 month ago

So, we don't want National Health Care, and we don't want anyone to be added to a family plan (by the way, few companies pay for this. They give employees group rates) unless they have a marriage certificate. The insurance money would get the same money, whether someone was married or not. And then some people have been denied the right to marry. I thought the more people that are in a group plan, the better it was for insurance companies, because they could spread the costs and risks. But don't make the group bigger. Being able to add people to your family plan would be using the free market, but then some of you are against this. So, some people here just don't want others to have health insurance. Also, brianjay1, there are fewer and fewer employees offering health insurance, especially for the working class. I suspect that you are really middle to upper middle class and have an education that allows you to find jobs that offer insurance. You are probably clueless what those people who wait on you in the restaurant, mow your yard, and change your oil go through. Of course, if they got an education and changed their jobs, who would do their jobs? Why should they go without insurance just because they do manual labor? Do you consider them chattel? Would you support requiring all employees to offer group insurance?

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kansas778 6 years, 1 month ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says:

traditional free-market theory would dictate that the demand would be higher in areas where the supply is lower,


Incorrect. The law of supply and demand dictates the phenomenon of Induced Demand: demand is higher where supply is higher, not where supply is lower.

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Jason Bowers-Chaika 6 years, 1 month ago

Domestic partner registries (DPR's) do not offer any legal rights. They are not marriage. They are not limited to gay couples. Blood relatives are excluded in Lawrence's DPR. DPR's help small and medium sized business that often do not have the HR department resources to verify partnerships.

Facts:

63% of Kansans "think cities should be able to establish domestic partner registries if they choose."

At least 65 US cities have DMR's and 5 states have DMR's.

270 of fortune 500 companies voluntarily offer domestic partner benefits.

Domestic partnership benefits are a right of business to offer their employees in order to attract and retain employees.

DPR's are an issue that is the right of local municipalities often referred to as "home rule".

KansasEqualityCoalition.org

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logicsound04 6 years, 1 month ago

If you are going to use the tired "free market always drives down costs" argument, then provide specific examples/justification. This is because the free market sometimes behaves in odd ways and does not drive costs down.

For an example, lets look at CT scans--traditional free-market theory would dictate that the demand would be higher in areas where the supply is lower, however this isn't the case. Studies have shown that demand increases when CT scans are readily available, most likely due to the fact that doctors most often recommend them to patients who have money, since insurance doesn't typically cover a CT scan. CT scans are expensive, so insurance companies elect not to cover them for fear of cutting into profit margins. As a result, clinics that provide CT scans pop up in abundance in certain regions and are all but non-existent in others.

Aside from the fact that allowing arbitrary supply and demand curves to determine availability of health care is insanity (when need is a much more reasonable measure), the traditional supply/demand curve does not function properly, so if you want to use the free-market argument for why health care should remain in it's current state, you need to provide more than a generalistic mention of "economics increasing efficiency".

At any rate, should ability to pay really be the determining factor on who gets access to a CT scan (healthcare)? The need for a CT scan is not limited to the well-off. Under the current system, CT scans are most expensive for those that can least afford it (because of the travel costs) because the market drives businesses that offer CT scans to locate in areas where the population can afford them out of pocket. Just one example of how the "free-market" fails to provide adequate health care.

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smitty 6 years, 1 month ago

Kansas is a DOMA(federal Defense of Marriage Act) state as is 39 other states. In spite of that Lawrence instituted the domestic registry.

Here's some education on all 50 states. click on the update for more current info.

http://www.stateline.org/live/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=136&languageId=1&contentId=15576

BTW, for those that think a gay republican is an oxymoron, it was Bill Clinton that signed DOMA....

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Stain 6 years, 1 month ago

This is the problem with something lame like "domestic partnership" in a bigoted state like Kansas.

Is it marriage or not? Is it as permanent (quote unquote) as marriage or not? Is it as big a commitment as marriage or not?

Gay people ought to be able to get married. That would put an end to all this bickering. They should have the same rights AND all the same obligations that marriage requires.

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beawolf 6 years, 1 month ago

rtwngr...

The US spends twice as much per capita than any other industrialized nation in the world (over $7,000) and still have over 50 million uninsured citizens. Needless bureaucracy (primarily marketing and billing) consumes over 30% of health insurance premiums.

"It would decrease the quality of healthcare for the general population because you remove it from the free market." .... Competition has not held down costs nor provided better coverage. The quality of health care is not the issue, it's the cost.

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Pogo 6 years, 1 month ago

I rather suspect 75x55 and rtwngr have very comprehensive health coverage for which they personally pay little if any money. Him that has, gets. Fly a kite.....

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preebo 6 years, 1 month ago

Why not, California, New York, and Florida view domestic partnerships as legally viable (i.e. common law marriage). While they are still informal in nature they are considered legal. Shouldn't Kansas?

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ksdivakat 6 years, 1 month ago

I would be curious to talk with some of the people who already registered when it came out and ask them what a difference it has made for them.

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rtwngr 6 years, 1 month ago

Health insurance is not an entitlement!!! National health insurance is not insurance at all. It is welfare. It would be administered by the government. It would offer nothing more for the poor than current agencies and facilities now offer. It would decrease the quality of healthcare for the general population because you remove it from the free market. Merrill is gravely mistaken.

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Pogo 6 years, 1 month ago

merrill is correct. The only real solution to all this nonsense is a National Health Insurance program which is real and inclusive benefit wise; not something with this exception or that exception; this procedure, not that procedure, etc.

Minnessotta has figured a way to deal with it's citizens to the extent that upwards of 93% of the population is covered under some health plan. Why can't Kansas do the same?

Answer: We're a bunch of ignorant hicks who deserve everything our legislature does and does not do.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

"How do you feel about offering benefits to domestic partners?" There is no legitimate reason not to offer medical care. Someone is paying for it so what's the deal?

National Health Insurance would erase this situation cuz it would eliminate discrimination and all humans would receive the same level of care. Why should health care be treated like some retail object on a shelf in the business district?

Why National Health Insurance? Eliminates a variety of discriminatory practices We all pay for identical healthcare Provides extraordinary leverage against suppliers Protects families and business alike from being gouged by the healthcare industry Treatment for serious illness such as cancer will not be cut off because a patient has reached the point insurance companies will pay no more:happens everyday 60% of healthcare today is paid with tax dollars so why not 100% that covers all who need treatment. Citizens will not be forced to lose all of their assets or file bankruptcy due to serious illness as does happen somewhere everyday as we speak Eliminates healthcare dollars going into special interest campaign cookie jars which is ONE HUGE PROBLEM Eliminates healthcare dollars from financing golden parachutes Veterans receive care immediately for whatever symptoms war has imposed on their physical or mental health. No more waiting on the Dept. of Defense National Healthcare eliminates 314 different policies thus eliminating tons of wasteful administrative costs. That money could be included towards 100% coverage. It is estimated todays administrative costs runs at 33%

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americorps 6 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps, Brian, we stop at loving commited immediate families. IE Husband and wife and children...or husband and husband and children or wife and wife and partners.

Hmm, solves your problem...or at least the one you present..but I would bet that your problem runs much deeper.....

Your desire is the same as mine, to protect my family. Unlike you..I am not willing to sacrifice your family for mine.. I consider that a sick inhumane value that makes your souless and a sad person.

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spywell 6 years, 1 month ago

Sinful people and their children need health insurance.

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brianjay1 6 years, 1 month ago

So where do we stop? Your sister, brother, other random roommate needs health insurance so they move in to take up your plan. Health insurance is a huge expense for employers but we are so caught up here on feeling disadvantaged, go get a job at a place that has benefits yourself just like the rest of the working class has to. It is expensive as I pay for 4 in my family and it is a huge weight but I do it. The next post will say you should be free to work where you want and use whosever benefits you want. I say this is America and we are free to work for a place or leave it for something better. If you don't like capitalism find a place where there is socialist medicine, otherwise stop feeling entitled.

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JJE007 6 years, 1 month ago

do it all the time... with what little I have... think we all should...

Charity loves company!~)

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Multidisciplinary 6 years, 1 month ago

Lecter..you've set a standard for your comments. That one seemed under the weather, you okay? Or did someone escape the basement and get on your computer?

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Multidisciplinary 6 years, 1 month ago

Any day " proselytisers" shows up on the OTS, that's a good day. :D

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jonas 6 years, 1 month ago

Man, there are five other living things in this house and yet I'm the only one currently awake.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 years, 1 month ago

So, it's welfare that my single insurance is paid for by my company, and I can put my family on that insurance for a discounted cost? I thought I was working for those benefits. Toefungus, you have a low image of workers. I hope you don't own your own business; I wouldn't want to work for you.

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H_Lecter 6 years, 1 month ago

Does it matter if we're already brother and sister?

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americorps 6 years, 1 month ago

toefungus (Anonymous) says: Stupid Idea, unless the benefit is paid for 100% by the recipient. Otherwise, an entire welfare system will emerge funded entirely by business.


The morons are out in full force, another laugh-out-loud post.

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Do you have any idea what you are saying?

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jonas 6 years, 1 month ago

Fine by me.

"Hidden agenda"!! Kyahahaha. It's pretty open, from my point of view.

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beatrice 6 years, 1 month ago

Toe, is it a stupid idea to provide benefits for heterosexual couples also? Must a couple be legally married in order to get benefits? What about those who aren't allowed to marry?

To think that anyone would want to deny another of health benefits is beyond me. But then, it is beyond me why my marriage is supposedly in jeopardy because of the relationships of others. What is next, my car is going to break down because my neighbor had a flat tire?

To deny civil unions AND same-sex marriage is to deny the reality of who people are. That wanting to deny things like health benefits for others is coming from people who call themselves Christ-like is mindboggling. To justify a dislike of another's lifestyle based on a couple of passages found in an old, thick book full of ancient Middle-Eastern prejudices is exactly the type of mindset that brings us Islamic extremism today.

Mick, would you please describe how giving one partner benefits because he/she has the legal right to wed while denying benefits to another because he/she can't legally wed isn't based on an agenda?

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toefungus 6 years, 1 month ago

Stupid Idea, unless the benefit is paid for 100% by the recipient. Otherwise, an entire welfare system will emerge funded entirely by business.

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Groanmaggot 6 years, 1 month ago

They don't bother me but those of weak minds and closed thoughts like b3, parkay et al.... won't allow other to live FREE..... Gotta love american biggots.

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 1 month ago

It's fine by me, but I don't really have a whole lot to offer in terms of benefits.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 years, 1 month ago

Of course, there is a hidden agenda. We want to get more people on health insurance. Roommates might claim to be domestic, so the one with no insurance can get some. God forbid, we make insurance available to people. If they want insurance, why don't they give up their cars or quit eating, then they could pay for it themselves, instead of paying for it through their partners workplace. It's all a conspiracy theory. Some people just don't deserve health insurance, right, micky? If they don't want to get a marriage certificate, they are immoral and don't deserve to have health insurance. Oh yeah, some domestic partners aren't allowed to get a marriage license. Oh, those are the people you don't want to have the same privileges as you. Let them eat dirt.

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americorps 6 years, 1 month ago

mick,

you are a goofball, worth a laugh though.

so...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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smitty 6 years, 1 month ago

There really isn't a hidden agenda when it comes to oppression of a group as they work their way through the prejudice and ignorance of faith based superstitions.

Actually this goes to the issue of misogyny and women and children as chattel. If there is any hidden agenda it is of the unholy proselytisers.

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mick 6 years, 1 month ago

There is a hidden agenda. If you think it will stop with a "domestic registry" you are a fool.

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Multidisciplinary 6 years, 1 month ago

I would think step one would be finding a domestic partner. Fringe benefits tend to fit the situation. At least that's how it was in my day.

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