Arkansas Family Council questions Blue Cross coverage of legally married same-sex couples; makes it an issue in Obamacare debate | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 17, 2014

Arkansas Family Council questions Blue Cross coverage of legally married same-sex couples; makes it an issue in Obamacare debate

Posted By on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 7:39 PM

click to enlarge unknown.jpeg
Hate never takes a holiday, not when a vote is pending on reauthorizing spending on the private option expansion of Medicaid.

With a major House vote likely coming tomorrow, the Arkansas Family Council — a "Christian" group dedicated to discrimination against gay people and to making abortion a crime — has written legislators to notify them that Arkansas Blue Cross is extending insurance coverage to same-sex couples legally married in other states. 
The weight of court ruling after court ruling is that government cannot discriminate in benefits against people who have obtained legal marriage in the states. It is called equal protection. It is a bedrock U.S. constitutional principle. The Arkansas Family Council argues that, if the Blue Cross policy includes coverage under the federally financed private option Medicaid expansion plan adopted by the state (it has no evidence than it does and see further note, it probably doesn't), it conflicts with the "spirit" of the Arkansas Constitution. A constitutional amendment pushed by the Family Council prohibits same-sex marriage and the providing of any benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.


A private organization is free to do what it wishes, of course. But the Family Council wants to enshrine discrimination in state law at every possibility, even for a program to which the state doesn't contribute a dime.  Arkansas should never, it believes, do the dastardly thing of giving same-sex couples the full faith and credit they are entitled to from a legal contract in another state. You can bet an amendment will be offered to prohibit this in Arkansas even if it's unnecessary. You can bet it is part of a strategy to attempt to kill the private option.

Hard to believe the feds would send money to a state that discriminates, when the Justice Department is no longer enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act. Maybe we should hope for a victory for Family Council hate. Then the whole law can be struck down, including the terrible amendments offered by Nate Bell to begin the crib death of the program in a way that punts the harm to 100,000 Arkansans until after this year's election.

It's cold comfort that the Jerry Coxes of the world will eventually lose this battle. In Arkansas, meanness is all too abundantly available, not just against gay people, but the poor generally.

PS — Republican Rep. Justin Harris, who makes a living off state-supplied money to his church-oriented pre-school, said in response to a Tweet by me that he knew about equal protection. It applies to Christians, too, he Tweeted. Meaning, I guess, 1) that all Christians discriminate against gay people like he does and 2) that equal protection means he should be allowed to mandate discrimination against those with whom he disagrees. Wrong on both counts. Courts soon should set him straight.

PPS — David Ramsey says only individual coverage, no family plans, are sold under the private option. So this is even more of a red herring than originally thought.

Family Council news release follows.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (25)

Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation