I'm not going to delve into the national health care debate. I have some very strong viewpoints on that issue, and I'm sure you do, too, and they may not be the same view. I'll let the townhalls, talking heads, and tea parties tackle that.
No. This blog is not meant to be partisan or political. We don't want to create a firestorm. But from time to time, we do take up a cause.
The other night, Mr. Brice and I went to a reception in the gorgeous, newly-named Kennedy Caucus Room in the Senate. The main speaker was David Gergen, who, as always, was articulate and brilliant. Dana Bash and John King were in the audience, and also shared some extemporaneous thoughts. It was a really thought-provoking evening.
When I got home, I turned on MSNBC. The Rachel Maddow Show was on, and she was talking about an issue I'd never heard of before. I was shocked. It just turned my stomach, and I almost didn't believe it.
So like any good 21st century citizen, I Googled.
In DC and eight other states (Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming), it is legal for an insurance company to deny a battered woman health insurance coverage. Their argument is that domestic violence a pre-existing condition. If you're a battered woman, you're more likely to end up in the emergency room, and thus you are deemed "high risk" because of your medical condition.
Like I said, I'm not going to jump into the health care debate and I'm sure as heck not going to debate the pre-existing condition issue. But WTF?
Maria Tchijov of the Service Employees International Union blog (http://www.seiu.org/2009/09/domestic-violence-victims-have-a-pre-existing-condition.php) put it plainly:
Words cannot describe the sheer inhumanity of this claim.
I don't consider this a political or partisan issue. This is a human issue. Way to make the victim a victim a seond time. First, she's abused at the hands of her partner. Then when she seeks medical treatment for her injuries, she's forced to pay for the treatment on her own.
Anyway, I'll let Joanne Bamberger, founder of the PunditMom political blog, and contributor to the Huffington Post take it from here. You can read her heartfelt and powerful words here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joanne-bamberger/just-being-alive-will-soo_b_287666.html
And to think, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act this week, too.
This whole issue just sickens me. Have we really lost our humanity?