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Gay Tax Remains in Health Care Bill

Poised for passage this week, the current Senate health care bill would not end the "gay tax" on domestic-partner benefits for same-sex couples.

The federal government currently treats domestic-partner benefits as taxable income, resulting in higher taxes both for employees who cover their same-sex partners and employers who offer such benefits.

A House health care bill provision remedies the double standard, creating a tax exemption for any dependent -- same-sex partners included. Should the Senate bill pass in its current form, lawmakers would have to reconcile differences in the bills through closed-door conference sessions.

Congress is currently grappling with several differences between the House and Senate bills, including a House provision that would block access to abortion for those insured by health plans that receive federal subsidies.

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