I don’t agree with your premise that the govt should legislate the conditions that affect how insurance companies determine coverage. And one of the legislative powers in question involves the govt’s ability to define ‘spousal’ relationships and marriage. It’s clearly abusing that power.
Also, there’s a point where the taxpayer no longer has a say concerning remuneration. It’s the employees’ money, not ours.
The government isn’t *legislating* here; it’s negotiating (on our behalf) the terms of a contract for which it is paying (with our money). The government isn’t prohibiting insurance companies from offering health insurance plans that cover same-sex “spuses” (and, in fact, insurance companies continue to offer those plans to employers willing to pay for them); it’s just saying that it won’t be paying for such a plan for its employees.
How can you even suggest that insurance companies should have the right to force employers to pay for certain coverage? If Microsoft wants to be “hip” and “inclusive” and provide health insurance for same-sex “spouses” of its employees, it’s its money and it can buy that coverage if it wishes; but you can bet that if an insurance company said that its plan will allow unmarried employees to list their best friend as a “spouse” that Microsoft would tell it that it won’t pay for that plan and that if the company wants to sell health insurance policies to be paid by Microsoft that it better define “spouse” the way that Microsoft wants to define it.
And are you seriously going to argue that it isn’t taxpayer money that pays for government workers’ health insurance policies and that it’s really the employee’s money? Health insurance is a benefit that employees provide, but it is by no means “salary,” much less paid for by employees. If you’re married and your spouse works for a company that provides health insurance, you should get on your spouse’s health insurance plan and waive your employer’s plan, and then you should explain to your employer that it should give you a check for the amount that your employer *didnt* spend on your health insurance, since it’s really “your money.” And if you’re unmarried, or have a spouse that isn’t on your company’s health insurance plan, you should demand a check for the money your employer *didn’t* spend on your spouse’s (real or hypothetical) health insurance, since, again, it’s “your money.” Somehow, I don’t think your employer would fall for that trick.
Let me guess: when the government gives welfare recipients food stamps (paid for with taxpayer money), you think it’s some sort of constitutional-rights violation for it to say that they can’t be used to buy chewing gum? Because, you know, convenience stores classify gum as “food,” and it’s really the welfare recipient’s money. (Actually, a welfare recipient may have a better claim on food stamps being “his money” than government workers have on health-insurance premiums being “their money,” since the welfare recipient actually gets to decide in what store to use his food stamps while the government dictates to the government worker what insurance company will provide his coverage and what the coverage will be.)
If you want to argue that same-sex “spouses” are no different than spouses from traditional, one-man, one-woman marriages, then go ahead and argue that (not that I would agree with such view). But to say that the government, as steward for Americans’ tax dollars, doesn’t have the same right to negotiate the terms of its employees’ health insurance plans (paid for with taxpayer money) than private employers have with respect to its (employer-paid) employee health insurance plans is absolutely illogical.