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When Your Uterus is Your Pre-Existing Condition

pregnantThere’s one very basic reason I’ve been on board with some kind of healthcare reform from the get-go: I have a uterus. And as the ladies of the National Women’s Law Center recently pointed out – that means I have a pre-existing condition.

Don’t believe me? A few facts, all pulled together by the NWLC:

Of more than thirty-five hundred insurance plans studied, sixty percent did not cover maternity care.

If any of you ladies have had a C-section, a large number of insurers will either refuse to foot the bill for any future C-sections (despite the fact that many hospitals are refusing to do VBACs because they say THEY can’t afford to) or require a higher premium from the mother.

I just pulled the data that directly relates to the uterus – but there’s a pile more that relates to all people who HAVE uteruses. Among them -  a recent study found that at age twenty-five women are charged between six and forty-five percent more than men for identical insurance coverage. At age forty, women’s monthly premiums are between four and forty-eight percent higher than men’s monthly premiums.

Health insurance companies – as they stand – are money-making entities. And most who would justify the above base it on some idea of the ends of capitalism justifying the means. Ever questioning that draws irrational cries of “socialist!”

So let’s take this out of the uterus and the grown woman who ostensibly can make her own decisions (and – I can hear it now – get off her ass, go to work and pay for her own healthcare, bla, bla, bla). Maternity care isn’t just about a mother. A C-section isn’t just about a woman.

They’re about the brand new baby who can’t get a job, whose parents are actually paying for health insurance (yup, we’re generally talking about the women who do work here folks – this isn’t not welfare screwing people to the walls but health insurance companies). Heck, that baby might not even HAVE a uterus. But she . . . or he . . . deserves to get something decent for all that Mom and/or Dad are shelling out, don’t you think?

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