11:28 AM Eastern - Thursday, October 29, 2009

Domestic violence as a pre-existing condition outlawed in House bill

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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