In response to Gutter Ball Master’s post, “Dr. Paul May Do Harm“, I offer the following article as rebuttal. I do not claim to be in total agreement with it, but I present it as an opposing viewpoint.
I Favor Discrimination
“If ever anyone wants to discredit me, he can cite the title of this article. I am giving it away on a silver platter in order to make one point: Freedom includes the freedom to discriminate. Discrimination is nothing more than making distinctions and being selective. Without discrimination, freedom to choose is an empty exercise. I favor the freedom to choose. Therefore, I favor discrimination. Not only do I favor discrimination, I discriminate constantly. And so does everyone else.”
It should be noted that the good doctor rejected the law on privacy, federal ineptitude, states rights, and constitutional authority grounds. Here’s his defense in his own words, emphasis mine (Fedora Tip to Chronicles of Dissent).
On 21 May 2008, “Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008” became law. Essentially, the act prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage to someone with negative genetic makeup. This law is good legislation since it guarantees that everyone has the opportunity to enroll in or buy into health insurance to help improve or save peoples’ lives no matter what their genes may predispose them to.
If the legislation did not pass, many people with genetic issues would have to live without health insurance or live on the emergency room system (the general public). In addition, parents with children with negative genetic makeup would be forced to drop their children off their insurance. Some parents would probably even be forced to abort their children so they (the parents) could have insurance. (So much for safe and rare.)
97% of the US House voted for the Act. Ron Paul, a doctor, was part of the 3% who voted against it. Why would a doctor vote against it? Yes, with this Act the government is interfering in private industry, but with life and death issues, the government must intervene.
FD has suggested to me that the Act may be seen as another affirmative action law. I disagree in part. Yes, it says that the disadvantaged gets special treatment; in affirmative action law, minorities get to get into college. However, with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, the disadvantaged get to live. Insurance companies should not dictate that part of society at large must die to win a heavy bottom line (with blood).
What do you think of the Act? Why do you think Dr. Paul voted against it? (I thought he was OTAAC, or pro-life.)
There’s an ongoing controversy at the University of Pittsburgh regarding same-sex benefits. I’m going to send in the following as a letter to the editor of the Pitt News.
Same-sex benefits do not make sense financially. Such benefits will not make sense until homosexual civil unions are recognized by the state as legally binding contracts like their heterosexual counterparts.
Before offering health benefits to partners, insurance companies want assurance of a binding marriage contract. This ensures permanence in the relationship. Without that permanence, fraud and abuses abound (eg Benefits could be offered to partners who are little more than roommates.). One might be tempted to call marriage impermanent these days, given the ~50% divorce rate. However, when the marriage contract is willfully terminated, benefits need no longer be offered to the divorced partner. Marriage is permanent in the sense that it does not cease with a simple “good-bye” as unbound partnerships can.
If I were making decisions for an insurance company, I would make it prohibitively expensive for a company to offer benefits to partners of its employees. This would serve to offset the inherent liabilities. I suspect that this is already current practice. Thus it does not make sense for Pitt, or any other company or institution in PA, to offer benefits to any unbound partners, same-sex or otherwise. Instead of crying to the ACLU or picketing the university, advocates for same-sex benefits should focus on getting homosexual civil unions recognized by the state as marriage contracts.