Newly proposed legislation by two Democratic legislators would ensure that LGBT Americans are covered by COBRA insurance benefits if their partner becomes unemployed, reports The Washington Blade.
Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York introduced legislation, called the Equal Access to COBRA Act, in the House on Thursday, while Sen. Barbara Boxer (pictured) of California introduced it in the Senate. Boxer had introduced the legislation in 2010 as well.
“All of our families deserve equal access to health insurance,” Boxer said in a statement. “This bill would help ensure that domestic partners and their families will be able to keep their health coverage if their partner loses their job.”
In praise of the introduction of the legislation, Human Right’s Campaign president Joe Solmonese said, “In these troubled economic times, social safety-net benefits like COBRA continuation coverage are even more important to American families. LGBT people should have the equal ability to maintain those critical benefits for their families during difficult times.”
The legislation would affect employees of companies required to offer health coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The law, signed by Ronald Reagan in 1985, mandated the creation of an insurance program giving some employees access to continuing health insurance coverage after leaving or losing a job.
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