Eight states consider domestic violence a “pre-existing condition

In eight states (Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming), women who survived domestic violence can be denied health insurance coverage on the grounds that domestic violence is a pre-existing condition. I’ve written about the notion of domestic violence as a pre-existing condition, and I think it’s an absolutely reprehensible practice that only serves to revictimize women who in many cases have endured prolonged physical and mental abuse at the hands of their perpetrators.

Democrats in Congress are vowing to ban the practice as a part of the health care reform legislation working its way through Congress, but at least one Republican thinks the eight states should be left alone to allow victims of domestic abuse to be denied health insurance coverage:

One Republican opposed to the amendment, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, argued that it’s “deplorable to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence. However, states should be responsible for regulating insurance markets.”

Yeah, I’m thinking sometimes doing what’s right supercedes the states rights argument, but then again, I’d rather be on the side of victims of domestic violence than insurance companies that are reaping billions upon billions of dollars in profits every year.


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