Domestic Violence as a Pre-existing Condition

I've got a new piece for The Guardian's CifA about insurance companies using domestic violence as an exclusionary pre-existing condition to deny coverage:
Last Sunday, the McClatchy news service reported on a rather remarkable insurance loophole that hasn't ever received much attention outside the US feminist blogosphere: "Eight states and the District of Columbia don't have laws that specifically bar insurance companies from using domestic violence as a pre-existing condition to deny health coverage."

This is not a quirky piece of trivia without any real-world ramifications.

According to a 2000 report by the US department of health and human services: "An informal survey in 1994 by the staff of the subcommittee on crime and criminal justice of the United States Senate judiciary committee revealed that eight of the 16 largest insurers in the country used domestic violence as a factor when deciding whether to issue insurance and how much to charge." More recent anecdotal evidence suggests the prevalence of treating domestic violence as an excluding pre-existing condition has diminished but has not disappeared.

Typically, the Republicans and Democrats have taken different approaches to addressing the problem.

The Republicans' strategy is predominantly centred around continuing to take massive donations from insurance companies and giving victims of domestic abuse the finger.
Read the whole thing here.

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