23 September 2009

To insurance industry, spousal abuse is a pre-existing condition

It's bad enough that an abused spouse has to endure the violence. But it gets worse, like when the insurance industry adds insult to injury.

In this excerpt from a recent piece in the Huffington Post, Ryan Grim explains:
It turns out that in eight states, plus the District of Columbia, getting beaten up by your spouse is a pre-existing condition.

Under the cold logic of the insurance industry, it makes perfect sense: If you are in a marriage with someone who has beaten you in the past, you're more likely to get beaten again than the average person and are therefore more expensive to insure.
This is just another sad example of society blaming the victim.

How can the insurance executives sleep at night?

And how can the Senate Republicans sleep at night? Grim goes on to explain their part in this:
In 2006, Democrats tried to end the practice. 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.
This is just one more reason why we need legislation that will forbid insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions -- or, better yet, a public option in which pre-existing conditions are not an issue. But do Obama and Congress have the backbone to make that happen? Stay tuned.

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