Leave it to my state of California to head off in radical and expensive directions. Legislation has been filed that would require group insurance to cover gay and lesbian infertility treatments just as they do heterosexual. But, as I note elsewhere, AB 460 isn’t limited to a finding of actual infertility. Nor does it require that gays and lesbians have tried to conceive or sire a child using heterosexual means, natural or artificial. Rather–as with heterosexual couples–merely the inability to get pregnant for a year while having active sexual relations is sufficient to demonstrate need for treatment, meaning if the bill becomes law, it would require insurance companies to pay for services such as artificial insemination, surrogacy, etc. for people who are actually fecund. Indeed, since the bill prevents discrimination based on marital or domestic partnership status, theoretically every gay and lesbian in the state could be deemed infertile for purposes of insurance coverage merely by the fact that they don’t wish to engage in heterosexual relations.
That’s no way to contain health care costs! Moreover, I note that health care law is being used these days to promote social agendas other than access to a doctor, and I give examples, including the Free Birth Control Rule under Obamacare. I conclude my column with a warning:
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.”
Imagine the bank busting possibilities!