Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Domestic Violence as a Pre-Existing Condition! Really!

by Pa Rock
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I am on most progressive mailing lists and a few from the nutbag right, so my email inbox always contains entertaining reading. I'm fairly cognizant of world events and domestic political issues, and I seldom get surprised by the petitions and appeals for donations that flood my inbox. Today, however, I opened a shocker.

I work with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. I've done that type of work for years in various settings, and I have a fairly good grasp on the dynamics of that dangerous process. Today I received an email from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) informing me that eight states and the District of Columbia allow insurance companies to label domestic violence as a pre-existing condition. So a man beats the crap out of "his" woman (and, yes Neanderthals, it is usually men doing the beating) and the insurance company can step in and re-victimize the poor soul by refusing to help with her hospital expenses. America's insurance companies - what a bunch of sweethearts!

The email from SEIU asked that I send an email to Congressman Dennis Kucinich who is heading a committee that is looking into insurance company abuses. I quickly complied. If any of you would like to join the effort, you may connect using the following site: http://action.seiu.org/page/speakout/comhearing.

Below is the message that I crafted for Congressman Kucinich and his committee:

From: Rocky Macy
To: U.S. House Subcommittee on Domestic Policy
Subject: Domestic violence is a pre-existing condition

Dear Representative Kucinich,

Domestic violence is a pre-existing condition in eight states - Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming - and the District of Columbia.

As a licensed clinical social worker with the armed forces, I work with victims of domestic abuse almost daily. The fact that immoral insurance companies can label domestic violence as a pre-existing condition is outrageous! It is clearly a case of re-victimization.

No American, and most certainly no one who has survived the trauma of domestic violence, should be denied insurance because of a “pre-existing condition.”

Rep. Kucinich - please use your power and authority in Congress to help right this terrible wrong.

Rocky Macy, LCSW
Litchfield Park, AZ

Please consider joining in the effort to hold Congress's feet to the fire on this issue. If you live in any of the states involved - Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming - you might also consider writing to your state legislators or state insurance commission. Stuff like this shouldn't be allowed to happen in twenty-first century America!

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