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Sunday, January 31, 2010

HB 1189: Domestic Violence Is NOT a Pre-Existing Condition

Republicans should not listen to me on campaign finance report dates. But when it comes to the issue of insurers treating domestic violence as a pre-existing condition, a lot of Republicans are listening to the Madville Times instead of Dakota War College.

Last fall, we talked about how some health insurers will jack up premiums or even deny coverage for women who've been beaten by their husbands. South Dakota's Division of Insurance assured us that would never happen. Mr. Powers dropped by to back that claim and suggest no law was needed. On his own blog, he called legislation to prohibit using domestic abuse as grounds to deny health coverage needless government intervention and a waste of time.

Evidently, a bipartisan group of 31 legislators have decided Mr. Powers is wrong. HB 1189 outlaws discrimination based on domestic violence in life and health insurance policies. Among the legislators Mr. Powers will surely lambaste for "wasting time" on problems that don't exist:
Both my senator and Pat's, Senator Merchant from Brookings, are sponsoring this bill. So's my Rep. Fargen, who's really out in front of things for a freshman, and Pat's Rep. Pitts. So are a crowd of DWC's favorite Dem targets: Senators Heidepriem, Jerstad, Turbak Berry, and best of all, Kloucek.

Go ahead, Pat. Criticize this bill. Whip your supporters up with your silly jokes about Frank's legislative prowess and Scott's cranium.

I will simply say... Blake, Russ, Shantel, and Tom; Pam, Sandy, Nancy, Scott, and Frank; and the rest of you... thank you.


  1. Cory -

    If you could manage to cite South Dakota examples of why it's needed, maybe your argument might have some weight.

    The state has managed to long prohibit it from happening here without legislators getting all puffed up and saying "there ought to be a law."

    BTW - even if there was a law, it would not have one iota of effect on the usual culprits who pull this type of thing - self-funded employer plans, as they are covered by ERISA, and not subject to state insurance laws or regulations.

  2. And yet a whole gaggle of Pat's favorite Republicans are listening to me and not him. That's got to chafe.

    Point: why aren't Curd, Krebs, Olson, and Brunner asking the questions Pat thinks they should ask about this supposedly unnecessary and ineffective legislation?

  3. Cory,

    Thanks for shoeing how the Republican/Democrat feud is used as a distraction from the issues. Why not deal with Pat's points? What about the impact of ERISA? ERISA overrides state law and allows HMOs to get away with murder. Go to that link and see what happened to Florence Corcoran.

    Steve Sibson


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