What some are really doing in the health reform debate is projecting their own vision of what is moral onto those who will be most affected by distorted views and limited coverage: the taxpayers who will fund and use whatever system emerges.
This past weekend the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops instructed pastors at parishes across the country to distribute material urging Catholics to oppose the health reform bills they say allow public funding for abortion.
The House health care bill language, released today, includes a clause specifically outlawing the practice of treating domestic violence as a “pre-existing condition.”
Congressman Bart Stupak says that while he is leading the charge to eliminate abortion care from both private and public insurance policies, he will support health care reform legislation even if he loses.
In a press conference at 3:15 pm today on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the Senate will include an “opt-out” public option in its version of the health care reform bill. States would have the ability to “opt-out” of participating in the plan. Shortly thereafter, Senator Max Baucus, a key Democrat who earlier had stated opposition to a public option, released a statement in support of it.
After being drugged and raped on a business trip, I received counseling and anti-HIV medications to help me survive. But to insurance companies my rape and treatment were “pre-existing conditions.”
As we dig deeper into the once-shrouded realities of our own health care system, the stories about how families and individuals have been forced to struggle to get health care coverage and the ridiculous reasons insurance companies have given for denying coverage are coming out.
“Nope, we won’t take her.” This is what
insurance companies in Florida said when asked whether they would
provide insurance coverage to a hypothetical applicant who had survived
rape, according to the rape survivor at the launch of the National Women’s Law Center’s campaign on women in health reform. NWLC asks: First, who was asking the question?
Second, why was the applicant’s history posed as a hypothetical? Third,
what can we do to change this dire situation?
Just as it is wrong to make better health care available only to those who can afford it, so too, it is wrong to make coverage contingent on a life that looks like the Brady Bunch. Good health care should not depend on wealth or hetero-patriarchy.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar is one of several female Democratic senators demanding that health insurance disparities that impact women be eliminated as part of the health reform packages being debated in Congress.