Broward News

Rape Victim Sees Doctor, Loses Health Insurance

Christina Turner, a 45-year-old Fort Lauderdale woman, was downtown, letting men at the bar by her drinks. The next thing she remembers is waking up on a roadside with cuts and bruises that indicated she may have been raped. As a safety precaution, she visited her doctor, who prescribed a month's worth of anti-AIDS medicine. And that's about when things went from horrible to unbelievably fucked.

When Turner went to change health insurance companies a few months later, she learned she was essentially uninsurable. Turner, a former health insurance underwriter, told the Huffington Post that the AIDS meds raised too many health questions, and that even after she repeatedly explained the assault (that doesn't sound fun) insurers wouldn't sell her a policy.

The way things work right now, in a time history might well refer to as "the sick centuries," it doesn't matter if you have AIDS or not. If you've had anti-AIDS treatment, most insurance companies write you off as uncoverable. "It's basically an automatic no," one insurance agent told HP.

Sounds like: "Sorry 'bout that, friend. Hope the treatment worked out for you. Either way, get the fuck out of our office and have a nice death."

It's not enough that it just seems acceptable for these disease profiteers to deny coverage to the people who need it most--the sick and dying--but the victimized, potentially ill must fend for themselves as well.

That's not the policy of course, just the result of an industry built to profit from not covering people. One representative of an insurance lobby told HP: "People who have experienced rape and sexual assault are victims and we want them to be in a system where everyone is covered."

I heard: "Wait a second, this chick can pay her premiums and really, really doesn't have AIDS? You promise? OK, then we'll take her money again. Unless she's actually sick, then she can get the fuck out of our office like that first guy."

Now, don't get me wrong. Capitalism is a great system by which to run a society most of the time. Just like intercourse is a pretty good way to maintain a species. But the same way, in a responsible society, people can't go around fucking every single hole they see ("No, Billy, that's your sister. No, Billy, that's your teacher. No, Billy, that's an electrical socket.") some things should be off-limits to a profit model. A rape victim's health? Yeah, that qualifies.

Rep. Alan Grayson, of Orlando, has a suggestion on how to call out the consequences of the current American clusterfucked health care system. He suggests we name the dead, in hopes that once people see how long the list is and how fast it grows, we will be able to change public policy and shut the list down, making it an "historical artifact" from a very weird time.