can ask ultra-feminist Meghan McCain why her dad thinks it's okay to gang-rape women:
Here is freshman Minnesota senator Al Franken's first-ever legislative action, a relatively simple, almost laughably surefire bill requiring the Pentagon no longer do business with any contractor -- hi, Halliburton! -- that requires its employees to agree that she cannot sue said contractor if she is, oh let's just say, gang raped by its employees.
You read that right. It's a can't-sue-us-if-you're-raped clause. In a U.S. government contract. Aimed squarely at Halliburton. Thanks, Dick Cheney!
First, you are required get over your initial disgust that such legislation is even necessary, that such clauses even exist and that the Pentagon is already doing business with such contractors (hi, Halliburton/KBR!), and that there has already been a truly horrible case validating it, wherein a 20-year-old female employee was allegedly gang-raped by contractors, locked in a shipping container, abused every way from Sunday, and found out later she was unable to sue.
The most repellant part is the 30 U.S. senators -- Republicans each and every one -- who just stepped forth to vote against the Franken amendment, essentially saying no, women should have no right to sue if they are sexually abused or gang raped, Halliburton and its ilk must be protected at all costs, and by the way we hereby welcome Satan into our rancid souls forevermore. God bless America.
That's the party you have sworn fealty to, Meghan. They think it's perfectly acceptable for a woman to be denied legal recourse after a heinous crime has been committed against her.
The 30 REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHO APPROVE OF GANG RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE -they voted against the amendment
It's pathetic. For every step forward we take to improve women's reproductive rights in this country, we take at least five steps back. The latest example: women who are forced to buy individual insurance plans (i.e., are not on employer-based plans protected by Title VII and who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid) are utterly screwed if they find themselves in a family way in the wrong states:
[M]ost individual health insurance markets don’t cover maternity care. In fact, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 14 states have a requirement for such coverage, and the number of plans without maternity coverage continues to rise dramatically. Why? Anthem Blue Cross — which has been actively fighting health care reform — considers pregnancy optional and therefore not necessary to insure.
You read that right. In 36 states, pregnancy is considered optional, even in those areas where abortion providers who haven't been assassinated are more than a "short ride" away.
Following this logic, one would assume, then, that since insurance companies consider pregnancy optional, they would provide coverage for female contraceptives under these individual plans, as a hedge against those horridly expensive, optional vaginal deliveries. One would assume wrong, of course. Birth control is still not covered under these plans.
(Interestingly, I'm still looking for the amounts insurance companies pay out annually for Viagra and Cialis prescriptions... )
Moreover, the National Women's Law Center issued a study on the major-league failure by the individual health insurance market to serve women, and it just gets worse: (.pdf link)
Except where prohibited in ten states, or limited in two states, insurance carriers are free to charge women and men different premiums for individually-purchased insurance under a practice known as gender rating. This discriminatory and arbitrary practice creates substantial financial barriers for women seeking to obtain the health care they need. [emphasis mine]
Terrific. Women, who are still paid an average of 75¢ to the dollar, face even greater financial pain because of their gender.
Oh, and by the way: if your husband beats you because, thanks to this economy, he's out of a job and the insurance premiums have bankrupted the both of you and he can't stand listening to the optional baby cry anymore? So sorry. Any injuries you sustain aren't covered, either, because in 8 states (and D.C.), being an abused spouse qualifies as a pre-existing condition, as well.
Under the cold logic of the insurance industry, it makes perfect sense: If you are in a marriage with someone who has beaten you in the past, you're more likely to get beaten again than the average person and are therefore more expensive to insure.
In human terms, it's a second punishment for a victim of domestic violence.
We make her bear and raise our children
And then we leave her flat for being a fat old mother hen
We tell her home is the only place she should be
Then we complain that shes too unworldly to be our friend
Like I said: it's pathetic. We've still got a very long way to go, baby.
Think about it.
If you ever in your life - we're talking some of us have been around
for decades - went to the doctor and complained of a cough, of feeling
dizzy, of feeling tired a lot, or if you ever had one single test that
showed high cholesterol, but since then your cholesterol was fine - if
you didn't declare all of those as pre-existing conditions, your
insurance thinks they have the right to drop you when you really get
Seriously, who out there has any idea of every single little thing you've ever mentioned to your doctor of the past twenty or forty years? A cough? Fatigue? This is outrageous. It's also typical. We need far more regulation of this decrepid industry than is being proposed. And sending them millions of more customers is a truly scary thought.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.
"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.
Overall, researchers said American adults age 64 and younger who lack health insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.
The findings come amid a fierce debate over Democrats' efforts to reform the nation's $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry by expanding coverage and reducing healthcare costs.
President Barack Obama's has made the overhaul a top domestic policy priority, but his plan has been besieged by critics and slowed by intense political battles in Congress, with the insurance and healthcare industries fighting some parts of the plan.
The Harvard study, funded by a federal research grant, was published in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health. It was released by Physicians for a National Health Program, which favors government-backed or "single-payer" health insurance.
Real Time's Real Reporter Dana Gould goes from a town hall protest with angry right wingers carrying Obama is Hitler signs and mad as hell, to a Remote Area Medical clinic, where the people waiting in line were polite and hopeful. Gould's response at the end of the segment is priceless, and not safe for work
Oh, wait ...
I can't wait until that woman's face, wearing that expression, winds up in a campaign commercial next fall.
Thanks for 2010, Republicans!