SEIU: Pelosi Bill Outlaws Domestic Violence as PreExisting Condition; Grassroots Action Critical in Gains


This article is cross-posted from the blog of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the organizations that led campaigns to ensure that women who had been abused in situations of domestic violence could not be denied insurance based on "pre-existing conditions.

From SEIU: Back
in September, we began a month-long campaign publicizing the fact that
in eight states and Washington, DC, insurance companies could deny
coverage to a victim of domestic violence, citing it as a "pre-existing
condition." Since that time, you’ve blogged, posted on Facebook, and
tweeted about women’s health care. You’ve written over 10,000 letters
to your members of Congress demanding gender equity in health care
reform. You’ve worn t-shirts and handed out information outside
Congressional offices. And now, that work has paid off: the House
health care bill language, released today, includes a clause specifically outlawing the practice of treating domestic violence as a "pre-existing condition."

The House bill states:

SEC. 2754. PROHIBITION ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS PRE-EXISTING CONDITION.

A health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in the
individual market may not, on the basis of domestic violence, impose
any preexisting condition exclusion (as defined in section
2701(b)(1)(A)) with respect to such coverage.

Yes, there is still a lot of work ahead as both this bill, and the
one from the Senate, moves to the floor for a vote. But, for just a
moment, we can sit back and celebrate the results of our hard work over
the past few months!

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Follow Jodi Jacobson on twitter: @jljacobson