In September, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee considered legislation that would provide federal benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal employees. Howard Weizmann, the deputy director of the U.S. Office Of Personnel Management, objected to the bill because it “could lead to fraud and abuse in the programs we administer.” Weizmann claimed that the office was unaware of any interest from federal employees for such benefits. He even evoked a fictional movie plot of two heterosexual New York firefighters who pretend to be a gay couple to suggest such fraud would be a problem in real life:
First of all, to suggest that we are being far-fetched in the sense that these benefits are open to fraud or abuse. It’s not an unrealistic concern. I would suggest even Hollywood has discussed this in a movie with Adam Sandler. In which, I think, ‘Chuck and Larry’ get married, which the subject of the movie, was quite frankly, was insurance fraud, along the lines of what we’re discussing. This is not far fetched and it’s not disingenuous to suggest such.
Yep, he went there. What I want to know is how Weizmann conducted his research in order to determine that same-sex health benefits would be abused at a significantly greater rate than opposite-sex benefits, to the degree it would justify denial of such benefits. “Hey, interns, watch every movie Adam Sandler has made until you find incontrovertible evidence of same-sex partner health benefits fraud!”
Oh, and I like that tidbit about being “unaware of any interest.” Oh, ok Weizmann, so because you and your pals are not interested in non-discrimination in health benefit provision, no one is? I like the way you think. What were the qualifications for your job again? Just idle curiosity.
Additional commentary from Think on this:
other movies i would like to see influencing policy:
* green card, with gerard depardieu, to demonstrate why granting legal permanent resident status to spouses of citizens is a bad idea
* rush hour, to mandate the inclusion of chinese investigators in kidnappings of chinese consul family members
* minority report, on why we aren’t developing pre-crime detection technology
* cloverfield, on community preparations for mysterious monster attacks