Every time you think your outrage-o-meter can’t go any higher, something else crops up. Today we have a classic, as reported by the SEIU blog (source: SEIU). If you think that health insurance companies just use pre-existing conditions crap to discriminate against cancer patients, don’t worry. They also use pre-existing conditions to discriminate against victims of domestic violence! (source: Huffington Post) In eight states and DC, being a victim of domestic violence is considered a pre-existing condition. That’s right: in eight states, if your spouse beats you, the insurance companies are allowed to join in! For the record, the eight states are Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. And those sound to me like the states where domestic violence is pretty prevalent. Hey, I’ve seen the show “Cops.” God forbid that a prior victim of domestic violence really does fall down the stairs. The insurance companies would be saying she was beaten up so that they wouldn’t have to cover her injuries. In fact, if you have a history of being a victim of domestic violence, it would be almost impossible to get treated for any injury. That also means it’s not just poor people who have trouble getting health insurance—it’s also women like Rihanna. According to the health insurance industry, Chris Brown is a pre-existing condition.
On a positive note, the Commerce Department reported today that retail sales in August were up 2.7 percent over July (source: The NY Times). That means people are shopping again… and they aren’t buying the Republicans’ claims that the stimulus program isn’t working. Sales at car dealerships rose 11.9 percent, mostly due to the “cash for clunkers” program. Meanwhile, sales at clothing stores rose 2.4 percent. Maybe we need a “cash for outfits you can’t wear anymore” program. The government could give us a rebate for turning in clothing that’s now too tight (or just plain tacky) and let us use the money to buy something nice for the fall. Plus, if we had nicer, better fitting clothes we’d go out more… and increase sales at movies, bars, and restaurants. OK, maybe it’s not much of an idea, but it’s an idea. And that’s more than Republicans have come up with on the economy or healthcare recently.