Wife-Beating As a Pre-Existing Condition

In eight states, Ryan Grim reports, getting beaten up by your spouse is a pre-existing condition.

If President Obama succeeds in signing a health-care reform bill that eliminates insurance discrimination based on "pre-existing conditions," he will help women (and men) trapped in relationships in which they are beaten by their spouses. At the Huffington Post, Ryan Grim reports on the insurance-industry practice of treating injuries incurred by domestic violence as an reason not to cover the medical costs that go with them:

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.

In human terms, it's a second punishment for a victim of domestic violence.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.
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