Thursday, October 8, 2009

Insurance Companies Consider Pregnancy A Pre-Existing Condition

It’s amazing to me that there are people fighting against health care reform when we are constantly hearing about the horrible things that insurance companies are able to get away with. As Gerry Connolly pointed out in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, for instance, anti-reform advocates are essentially supporting horrendous policy that allows some insurance industries to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence because they consider the violence someone else committed to be a pre-existing condition. Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse, it appears as though there is more information that needs to be discussed. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently pointed out, women often are discriminated against on the individual insurance market.
We will be finalizing a bill soon, and among its provisions, it will address the issue that women are charged nearly 50 percent more than men for the same coverage when they purchase insurance in the individual market…We will eliminate co-pays and deductibles for recommended preventive services, such as early screenings, mammograms, well baby care, well child care, and maternity services…Did you know that having had a pregnancy was a pre-existing medical condition? I found out that myself. I had five children, and they told me I was a poor risk. I said: ‘I thought I proved my strength?’ If you have ever had a c-section, pre-existing medical condition. Or being a victim of domestic violence. Think of this, you have survived domestic violence and now you are discriminated in the insurance market because you have a pre-existing medical condition. Well, that will all be gone under this legislation.
Over on Pelosi’s blog there are some more details on how the legislation being considered would help address these issues and I highly recommend reading it. What’s also important to remember is that there are some people in Congress who are working against this legislation, which is why people need to let their voice be heard on the topic. It simply should not be acceptable that women can be denied coverage simply because they had a c-section or survived domestic violence. If you share this belief, then call your members of Congress and urge them to support the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act. You can call the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and they will connect you to your representatives.

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