It's apauling to everyone who hears it. Insurance companies have acutally denied health care to women victims of domestic violence, either in current or past relationships. But we're just hearing about it now. The only ones not moved are the insurance companies and legal minds defending such policies. For instance:
Mark Rosen, a lawyer who is chairman of the Boston Bar Association’s committee on insurance, said "The question is whether there’s a sound actuarial basis here. Should other policy holders be burdened with the increased costs?"
Could you call this rationing? Are we now down grading human compassion and victim assistance, for the overiding importance of making a profit? Yes to both questions. Bonnie Erbe', host of PBS's "To the Contrary," poses the question to her "left/right" guests, and got some surprising answers from her conservative small government pundits.
According to miccheckradio.org (subscription):
•Insurers in D.C. and the following eight states are allowed to deny coverage to domestic violence survivors: Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. [National Women’s Law Center]
•In 1994, then-Rep. Charles Schumer had his staff survey 16 insurance companies. The finding: Eight would not write health, life or disability policies for women who have been victims of domestic abuse. [Huffington Post]
•In 1995, the Boston Globe reported, “Explaining the industry view, Mark Rosen, a lawyer who is chairman of the Boston Bar Association’s committee on insurance, said that at first the stance may seem unfair. ‘But the company sees the applicant constantly being treated for lacerations, broken bones, getting mental health counseling. They say, ‘This is a continuing situation, a high risk client, and it’s going to cost us a lot of money.’’ He added, ‘The question is whether there’s a sound actuarial basis here. Should other policy holders be burdened with the increased costs? At what point can the companies legitimately say, ‘You’re not extricating yourself from this problem. Don’t expect us to underwrite you!’ It’s like a smoker who doesn’t stop smoking.’” [Boston Globe]