Family values: Health coverage for UAMS now and the future | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 29, 2013

Family values: Health coverage for UAMS now and the future

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 7:27 AM

I was copied on an e-mail being circulated at UAMS.

It is building support for a resolution before the Academic Senate at UAMS for partner benefits in health insurance for the University of Arkansas System. This is a staple of the benefit offerings at many other public universities around the country.

Though this benefit would help many family situations — not only the same-sex couples who are prohibited from marrying by the Arkansas Constitution — the UA board has resisted joining more enlightened institutions (the Central Arkansas Library System, for example) in offering domestic coverage that is a boon to family health and worker productivity. Fear of helping gay people in an officially homophobic state is the reason. It's another mark of shame against an institution putatively devoted to higher order thinking.

Said the note to faculty, in part:

UALR and UAF senates have already voted for and sent this resolution to their Chancellors and the President. The consistent language/ message across campuses is one thing that is working in our favor with the Chancellors, System office and System Board. We’ve been encouraged to voice the strong support that we know exists here at UAMS for this policy change, with such a resolution.


At the risk of again being called "anti-Catholic" by Peter Banko, the leader of St. Vincent Infirmary, I must add that this is another issue that deserves specific attention before UAMS moves ahead with plans for a merged hospital operation with St. Vincent.

If a new entity, with shared governance of institutions including both UAMS and St. Vincent employees is created, what are the implications for treatment of employees at both institutions? Will St. Vincent commit to employment policies that don't discriminate on sexual orientation grounds, which is a matter of policy at UA? If, let us hope, the University system adopts domestic partner benefits, would the publicly subsidized employees of St. Vincent enjoy the same coverage (not to mention the coverage of birth control pills that UAMS employees already enjoy)?

I hope Peter Banko understands these are issues, not of religious animosity, but simple fairness of public policy when it comes to a public investment in a private institution. I hope Banko also understands they are questions not drawn from thin air. Catholic leadership has moved strongly in recent years on direction from the pope to register disapproval of homosexuality in many and varied specific ways. To name one locally: Arkansas Catholic Bishop Anthony Taylor, otherwise a remarkable and praiseworthy champion of immigrant causes, last year withdrew church support of a group that works to help assimilate immigrants in Arkansas because it insisted on continuing to be a member of coalition that included an organization helping same-sex immigrant couples. Specific actions such as this demand specific answers to related questions presented by the hospital merger.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Most Viewed

  • The kids are marching open line

    The open line. Kids marching for gun control. And a recollection of how hard it is in Arkansas to restrict gun ownership, even by proven thugs.
  • Another Trump propagandist from Arkansas gets blasted

    If Sarah Huckabee Sanders is Donald Trump's Baghdad Barbie, spouting implausible statements in support of her boss in the style of Saddam's Baghdad Bob, then let's make El Dorado native Hogan Gidley Baghdad Ken.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation