Opinion

Calif. law would require insurance cover infertility for gays, lesbians

A bill introduced in the California legislature would require that all group health insurance policies cover gay and lesbian couples — for infertility.

Lesbian couple with child
There had to be a guy involved here somehow. Photo credit blog.sfgate.com

It seems that gays and lesbians spend half their waking hours coveting things that other people possess and then plotting ways to attain them. It started with equal access to housing and other services, moved through civil union ceremonies and the attendant tax advantages for married couples and recently the right of “gay” marriages.

No matter how I feel about these issues, I’m really going to have to put my foot down on this one.

No proof is required in order to get the insurer to pay up, according to attorney Wesley J. Smith writing in the National Review. No egg or sperm count, no demonstration that one member of the couple attempted to conceive with someone of the opposite sex — by artificial insemination or the old fashioned way.

All they would have to do is show they’ve been a couple for a year, have enjoyed an active sex life and so far, no one has gotten preggers. That is, after all, the standard for heterosexual couples. To require anything more would be discriminatory.

The proposal, AB 460, was introduced by California Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, and provides, in part, as follows:

This bill would require that the coverage for the treatment of infertility be offered and provided without discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Because a willful violation of the bill’s provisions by a health care service plan would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

In a related column, Smith wrote:

Remembering that what happens in California doesn’t stay in California, it is easy to imagine Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius holding a press conference to announce that henceforth, all insurance policies will be required to cover infertility treatments, “without discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.” Indeed, it is probably a matter not of “whether,” but of “when.”

Meanwhile, California’s net worth as of March 31 was negative $127.3 billion. Is it any wonder?

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