Without getting into the pros and cons of traditional marriage ceremonies, I think most people would probably agree that eloping in order to get better healthcare insurance probably does little to support the supposed sanctity of marriage. Let me explain.
A colleague and her fiancé will be married in a few months in a nice traditional wedding ceremony–you know, the kind of thing conservatives are vigorously defending from The Freedom-Hating Homofascist Hordes. Currently, they both have separate health insurance: hers is a pretty good plan, and his is miserable, but it’s all he gets with the job he has. He’s not a lay about: he’s successfully employed at a skilled trade.
Unfortunately, he has had some medical problems, and he needs a endoscopy to determine if things have become better or worse. It seems things haven’t quite sorted themselves out yet, but who can tell? That’s why he needs the procedure (preventative medicine and all of that…).
So what’s the problem? After all, he has healthcare, right? Well, his insurance company is requiring him to make a four-figure co-payment. Keep in mind that his insurance company agrees that this is a necessary diagnostic procedure: it’s a co-payment. If they thought it was frivolous, then they should deny the claim. It’s just that the health insurer is too cheap to pay for most of the procedure. As I’ve mentioned, since you often don’t know what healthcare services you’ll need, you have no idea what you’re buying. In his case, apparently, very little. So the fiancé is left with three options:
- Forgo the procedure until they are married (several months from now), even though he still has some minor symptoms of his condition.
- Pay the four-figure co-payment out of pocket.
- Traipse down to City Hall with his bride-to-be and get married, so he can join her health insurance plan.
They’re actually considering option #3. Never mind that they want to have a traditional wedding–the kind that will keep America safe from the Homofascist Hordes–big ceremony, white dress, the whole bit. They might not be able to afford to do so.
The disgusting irony is that many of the same Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats who get bent out of shape defending ‘the sanctity of marriage’ (TEH GAY!! AAAIIEEEE!!), such as Blue Dog Ben Nelson, are the same people who make it difficult for many working people to get decent healthcare.
There might be perfectly good reasons to elope. Health insurance isn’t one of them.