Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And Let's Deny Orphans, While We're At It...

As all Serious Adults know, reform must happen in small increments and include everybody--EVEN PEOPLE YOU MIGHT NOT AGREE WITH. This is called being a moderate, or centrist, a label that is valued in Washington, DC even more than air itself. It shows your colleagues that you don't actually believe in anything, which is to be avoided at all costs, lest you be labeled an "ideologue." That's why health care reform must--SIMPLY MUST DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND--include health insurance companies.

But then there's also this. According to insurance companies, getting beaten by your husband counts as a pre-existing condition. Yeah. HuffingtonPost is reporting:

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.

I can't imagine a more perfectly distilled illustration of the brutal logic of capitalism. A company that exists to make money by denying care to sick people (and make no mistake, that is exactly what a health insurance company is), extends an already corrupt and revolting practice--denying care due to "pre-existing conditions"--to include people who aren't sick, but are victims of abuse.

And, according to Huffpo, this practice has been happening since at least the early 90s, when insurance companies promised to end this practice during Clinton's push for reform. Surprise, surprise, that didn't happen, because, oh, I don't know, maybe because ANYONE EVIL ENOUGH TO DENY COVERAGE TO A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC ABUSE MIGHT DO ANYTHING TO MAKE A BUCK, INCLUDING LYING ABOUT ENDING THAT PRACTICE BUT THEN CONTINUING TO DO IT. That's just one theory, though, there might be others.

To give credit where it's due, in 2006 Senate Democrats tried to outlaw the practice, but the Republicans stymied the measure.

Let's invite everyone to the Big Table for Reform! Sigh.

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