As in all things, true reform will start at home.
Specifically, I am talking about health care reform, and the practice of classifying domestic violence as a pre-existing condition.
Update - Today (9/15) my outrage just went from a 9 on a 10 point scale to a 15. Follow below for the update.
It is likely that everyone reading this knows the difficult path that women have under our current health care system. Young women especially are faced with incredibly heavy costs, regardless of their health. As a simple anecdote, a friend of mine was recently quoted almost 1200 per month by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC. That is for a single woman, in her 20s, no children or health problems.
This was highlighted in a long report by the National Women's Law Center, which I highly recommend you read. (PDF)
Amongst their findings though, was a very disturbing fact. Eight states in the country still allow insurance companies to deny women health care coverage by classifying domestic violence as a preexisting condition. In the early 90s there was state and congressional testimony on this topic, including women who had been treated so horrendously. It led to a banning of the practice in almost all states.
Sadly, as pointed out by the Service Employees International Union, North Carolina is one of the 8 states that still allow this despicable practice.
The great Institute of Southern Studies picked this up on their blog, Facing South. Four of these states are in the south.
So, knowing that change begins at home, lets work to change this. I would ask that all of you contact your legislator and ask them to change North Carolina law, and stop this disgusting and unconscionable practice.
Update - In 2006 there was an amendment to a health insurance bill that sought to make insurance companies more responsible in following state law. Even though most states have passed a law saying that domestic violence can not be classified as a pre-existing condition, those laws are sometimes ignored. So Congress sought to address the problem.
Richard Burr and 9 of his fellow GOP Senators voted AGAINST that amendment. That is correct. Richard Burr voted to allow insurance companies to continue ignoring state laws and continue to treat domestic violence as a pre-existing condition. Can we get rid of this man already?