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New Study Puts
Cost of Federal DP Benefits at $43.5 Million; Senate Holds
Hearing

New Study Puts
Cost of Federal DP Benefits at $43.5 Million; Senate Holds
Hearing

A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA has found that providing domestic-partner benefits to federal employees in a same-sex relationship would add $43.5 million to the federal budget in the first year of coverage and about $675 million over the course of the next decade. The Senate Committee of Homeland Security and Government Affairs held a hearing Wednesday morning on the bill that would provide DP benefits to federal employees, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act. Committee chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a sponsor of the bill, was expected to reference the report's findings during the hearing, thereby entering them into the record. GOP senator Susan Collins of Maine also helped organize the hearing.

A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA has found that providing domestic-partner benefits to federal employees in a same-sex relationship would add $43.5 million to the federal budget in the first year of coverage and about $675 million over the course of the next decade.

The Senate Committee of Homeland Security and Government Affairs held a hearing Wednesday morning on the bill that would provide DP benefits to federal employees, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act. Committee chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a sponsor of the bill, was expected to reference the report's findings during the hearing, thereby entering them into the record. GOP senator Susan Collins of Maine also helped organize the hearing.

The benefits for federal employees would include family health insurance, pension and survivor benefits, and relocation expenses for families who are transferred. For State Department employees abroad, it would also include access to anti-terrorism and language training, medical facilities, and evacuation services. "Adding partners to health care coverage is the most expensive part of the bill," said study coauthor Naomi Goldberg, the Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute. "But the cost increase of $43.5 million in year one is only 0.4% of total health care expenditures, a tiny fraction that is consistent with the experience of the thousands of private employers offering domestic-partner benefits." More than 30,000 employees with same-sex partners would benefit if Congress enacts this bill, according to the study. (The Advocate)

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