Thursday, September 17, 2009

Spousal Abuse is Pre-Existing Condition in Some States

Ok, so I know that healthcare and insurance is a huge topic right now. Private insurance companies are being criticized for some of their practices; one of these is singling out people with pre-existing conditions. The other day, one of my professors posted a link to an article titled "When Getting Beaten By your Husband is a Pre-Existing Condition."

It turns out that in seven states (Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming-see the update near the bottom of the page) and the District of Colombia having an abusive spouse is a pre-existing condition. After reading this, I was completely shocked; I had never heard of this before. The article goes on to say,
"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. In human terms, it's a second punishment for a victim of domestic violence."

In 2006, Representative Patty Murray (D-Washington) introduced an amendment to stop this practice; however, it never made it past the committee stage.
I am saddened that this practice is still legal; it seems like another way to once again blame the victim. What are your thoughts?

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