No end for 'gay tax' in Senate health care bill

Posted on 23 Dec 2009 at 7:15am

Capitol

When employers offer benefits such as health insurance, those benefits are not taxed. Unless you are gay or lesbian.

The benefits given to the employee, gay or straight, are non-taxable. And when an employer extends those benefits to the legally married spouses and children of employees, they also are not taxed.

But because of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships and any other euphemism given to same-sex relationships are not recognized. Benefits given by employers to employees with partners who are not in an opposite-sex marriage are taxed.

Any portion of the health care paid by the employer is taxed as ordinary income. This can add up to thousands of dollars.

The House version of the health care reform bill eliminated the “gay tax” on health care benefits. The Senate version, approved by all 60 Democrats, leaves the tax in place.

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