Thursday, May 8, 2008


Thanks to Nicky Grist at Alternatives to Marriage Project for bringing to my attention a bit of news I had overlooked: A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 7% of those surveyed said that, in the past year, they or someone in their household married to get access to spousal health care benefits. This number is so unlikely that Kaiser felt a need to explain it. Universal health care is so clearly the answer to our health care crisis, but until then qualifying for health insurance on the basis of a relationship with someone who receives it through an employer is critically important to many people. This is when valuing all families is critical. Extending these benefits to an employee's spouse but not to unmarried partners or other economically interdependent members of an employee's household (think grandma who moves in to help a working single parent, close friends who buy a home together for companionship and economy, a lesbian and gay man who decide to raise a child togeter...) overvalues marriage at the expense of real people whose relationships matter just as much as marriage does (and may last longer than many marriages!)

1 comment:

Libertine said...

I'm an unmarried non-monogamous heterosexual and my current job offers no health insurance. My primary lover, whose job includes health insurance, offered to marry me, so I could be put on her insurance.

I said no, because legal marriage as it's currently understood (monogamous) is a poor fit for me, as I prefer having multiple lovers and because I prefer not involving the government in my private personal relationships.

I believe that separating health insurance from employment for everyone would be a better solution. I find it immoral that a person's access to health care is determined by how good of a job one has or by being married to someone who has health insurance.