Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine
If an employer doesn't want to offer benefits to a gay married couple, I think that should be their choice, just as they currently have (or SHOULD have!) the option to provide NO benefits to their employees.
This is why it's necessary when we try to make things "better" we often need to throw out everything (at least temporarily) and start from scratch rather than take something existing and try to "fix" it.
Because the whole healthcare system in the states is so fatally flawed to begin with, it's a prime example (and opportunity) to start again.
I can personally not envision ANY model where healthcare can be "contributed to" by any third party except one that contributes to EVERYONE's in some fashion. In other words, healthcare is both an individual responsibility and a joint community responsibility. Countries who have adopted some model of "socialized" medicine seem to be the closest to a workable model even with all the issues that exist because that model is technically still in it's infancy and we're learning how to do it best.
If some "employer" feels a desire to contribute to the cost of that as a "fringe benefit" then fine - but it should be treated as such and acknowledged as such - nothing more than an extra enticement to work for me vs them. But it seems this could only be the case for the individual "employee" and the whole concept of "dependents" needs to be tossed. In a model where healthcare was targeted at the base unit of ONE (the individual), then the concept of dependents (wives, children etc) no longer applies.
It seems much the same needs to be applied to tax code. Any tax liability is the responsibility of an "individual" once they reach an age of employability. The whole concept of manipulating the structure to accommodate the concept of a "dependent" only complicates and opens chances for abuse. If the concept of taxation is to support the overall public good then it's a simple matter to determine how many potential wage earners exist and determine the per capita need from that. Obviously that's a much over-simplified example but I think you get the idea.