Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Denying insurance to domestic violence victims

Yes, that can happen. According to healthreform.gov, "It is still legal in nine states* for insurers to reject applicants who are survivors of domestic violence, citing the history of domestic violence as a pre-existing condition."

What's the theory working there? "Well ma'am, seeing as you've been abused before, it's likely you'll be abused again, causing more injuries, and we don't want to pay for that, so no insurance for you." Something inhumane like that, victimizing women who are abused again?

*Although that site says nine states, the number is now eight, according to seiu.org, who reports that Arkansas passed a law in April prohibiting insurance discrimination against domestic violence survivors. It is unbelievable this has to be legislated, but leave it to health insurance companies to make such legislation necessary. (The same health insurance companies that so many tea party goers seem so keen on keeping in place as-is, I might add.)

States where insurance can still be denied to domestic violence victims:
Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming, and in D.C.

SEIU has a form you can fill out to send to Congress about this issue and a list of links to other media and blogs covering this story here.

This information from the Huffington Post is particularly relevant to the current health care reform debate:

In 2006, Democrats tried to end the practice [of insurers denying domestic violence victims]. An amendment introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), now a member of leadership, split the Health Education Labor & Pensions Committee 10-10. The tie meant that the measure failed.

All ten no votes were Republicans, including Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), a member of the "Gang of Six" on the Finance Committee who are hashing out a bipartisan bill. A spokesman for Enzi didn't immediately return a call from Huffington Post.

At the time, Enzi defended his vote by saying that such regulations could increase the price of insurance and make it out of reach for more people. "If you have no insurance, it doesn't matter what services are mandated by the state," he said, according to a CQ Today item from March 15th, 2006.
Really Mike Enzi? Insuring domestic violence victims shouldn't be necessary because it will make insurance cost more for other people? And you're one of the people leading health care reform now? My hope dwindles even more ...

1 comment:

Matt Osborne said...

You know, I was just watching the covert video made in the NYC ACORN office. Remember the advice to put money in a tin can in the backyard? That woman was telling the fake "prostitute" how to avoid and evade a violent pimp. I'll be blogging on it tomorrow.

Also, totally O/T, I found this disturbing story from Australia.

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