UGA President Mike Adams Promises Benefits For Domestic Partners Of University Employees

November 28, 2012 14:30 pm

by Charlie · 21 comments

From Blake Aued/Flagpole

Gay and unmarried straight University of Georgia employees might be able to put their domestic partners on their insurance by next summer, UGA President Michael Adams said today.

Adams said he thinks he has the authority to extend soft benefits like dental and life insurance that are paid for entirely by employees to domestic partners and hopes to do so by July 1. Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State University, Georgia Perimeter College, Georgia State University and Georgia Health Sciences University already have similar policies.

Adams sent a letter Nov. 7 to his bosses, University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby and the Board of Regents, for permission to offer health insurance to domestic partners.

“We believe we have the flexibility to initiate the voluntary benefits,” Adams said at his monthly press conference. “I would like to have that initiated by the end of the fiscal year. I have asked about the health care portion of the benefits, and I expect to hear a response in the not-too-distant future.”

OK “Conservatives”, let’s hear your best argument against this one.  Let me first repeat the line above, “that are paid for entirely by employees to domestic partners“.

It’s not costing taxpayers a dime.  Reading through the rest of the article, it appears the University is looking at funding the potential extension of health care benefits to domestic partners through private, non-taxpayer funds as well.

So, let’s hear it.  What part of “limited government” does this violate?  Because despite the fact that it doesn’t, I’m sure some of you will be glad to tell me that I’m wrong, and why.

Harry November 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Do heterosexual employees have to remain in the same risk pool?

benevolus November 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm

How do we know you are heterosexual?

Harry November 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm

You didn’t answer my question.

Lea Thrace November 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm

And you didnt answer his either…

AMB November 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Would you want to be in the same pool as Harry? He probably pees in the shallow end.

Lea Thrace November 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I now need a new monitor. Thanks…

Jackster November 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm

So, at this point, if you are unmarried and have a shawty and want to show love (and not be a scrub), then how would kids work into this equation:

1) You’re married (Let’s not bother with semantics – they’re together until they split assets) and gay. Would the kids already be on your insurance, but not your spouse? If that’s the case, then your +1 is moot – you’re already paying for the family plan.

2) You’re married and gay and have no kids – Would you pay the premium difference out of pocket? If that’s the case, the only change would be the risk pool is increased, but so is the premium base.

3) You’re not married, and you want to keep her around without putting “a ring on it”. You’ve given her a key to your place, you split the bills, but she wants more commitment. So you add her to your insurance. Not a big increase.

The only expansion argument I can think of:
You and your fam are on the spouse / DP’s insurance and now you’re eligible for UGA’s. you move over because it’s cheaper. That’s a net increase of at least 2 to the roles, but the over all program hasn’t expanded really.

I would note that he’s doing this after the usual annual enrollment program, so it’s the next guy’s problem to implement and deal wiht the costs.

However, this does indeed set a precedent for other gov’t entities, so the potential increase could be very large, assuming it expands to all other branches and entities.

seenbetrdayz November 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm

I think it’s more interesting that he has to ask the Board of Regents for permission to do so. If other institutions have already done it, then I see no reason why UGA couldn’t.

But, I haven’t made a sacrifice to the super-gods who sit on the Board of Regents in a while, so I don’t want to anger them by asking questions on the topic their authority. You don’t want to anger those folks. The only thing worse is angering Georgia Power.

Harry November 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm

What about the employer-paid benefits? They are saying that none of that cost goes to pay premiums for domestic partners? Just the employee-paid options – which are minimal?

taylor November 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm

There are benefits with costs paid by employer and employee, and there are other benefits (like dental and life insurance) where the employee pays the entire premium.

saltycracker November 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm

The insurance companies will know the risk of domestic partners and rate accordingly, not impacting taxpayers – probably.

The concern will be similar to the reason folks do not want the medicaid offer of 90% Fed coverage share in return for expanded coverage, a lack of trust in public administration.

Depending on how domestic partner is defined and administered the bigger issue could be abuse/fraud.

saltycracker November 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Then maybe the insurance company only administers the program and the university sets the rates and pays the bills…..anyway unless abused or expanded it is not a hill to try to take……

eschristian November 29, 2012 at 3:32 am

I’m a conservative and I don’t see anything wrong with this. Personally, I don’t think the government needs to be involved in marriage at all, for the most part they are only involved to collect a tax (marriage license fee). On a personal level, based on my faith, I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, who am I to force my beliefs upon anyone else? It should be left up to the church and minimal laws on the books for crazy churches (Westboro Baptist Church types) to address incest, marriage to minors, etc… 99% of the churches would only marry consenting adults BUT minimal laws on the book to address the above problems that could arise by “churches” that are really not churches and only call themselves that to hide their behavior behind the 1st Amendment and to get tax-free status.

If Government has to be involved other than the minimal laws stated above, then leave it to the states to put on the ballots and let WE THE PEOPLE decide for ourselves in each state. Or like the beer on Sunday issue here in Georgia let each city decide for itself. I am all for limited government that is efficient – the less the better!

If the above was solved then benefits would be solved as well. Sometimes the politicians make it just too complicated when the solution is so simple. Then again, they do that so they can find their best way to tax us some more and grow government bigger.

Lea Thrace November 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Reason and logic. It’s amazing what those two things will do for someone’s thought process. Thank you for putting into words how I feel about this situation.

eschristian November 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Thank you Lea Thrace ; )

saltycracker November 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm

The government is heavily involved in marriages and benefits.
The simple solution would be to end what evolved in law to spousal benefits, wouldn’t it ?

Harry November 30, 2012 at 12:07 am

That simple solution would address my concerns.

benevolus November 30, 2012 at 10:38 am

Well as I said before, how do you tell whether someone is hetero or not?

Harry November 30, 2012 at 11:16 am

Who they cohabit with is one test. Do you not like Saltycracker’s suggestion to eliminate all mandated spousal employee benefits and spousal tax benefits, thus removing the moral objections and hazards?

benevolus November 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Not sure. What are you talking about, the tax deduction for being married?

I think the problem is that “marriage” is taken by many to be a religious event and yet it winds up in our laws. Maybe it shouldn’t be mentioned in the law at all. Just substitute “civil union” everywhere and call it a day.

Harry November 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm

That’s my point. They can draw up a contract as needed, especially if children are involved. Eliminating marriage except in church sacraments would eliminate a lot of time and expense. If two homo- or heterosexuals want to hook up, go for it but don’t expect any statist help.

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