Politics & Policy

The Corner

When the GOP Isn’t Murdering People, It’s Exploiting Rape Victims

If yesterday’s accusation that yesterday Republicans voted to “sentence millions of Americans to death” takes the gold in the hyperbole Olympics, then the claim that the GOP just rendered rape a pre-existing condition comes in with a strong silver. The argument goes something like this: A woman who is raped or sexually assaulted suffers physical and emotional injuries. If the GOP bill passes, those injuries could constitute pre-existing conditions that wouldn’t be covered under certain circumstances. So rape itself is now a pre-existing condition.

I was set to respond, but my friend Ben Shapiro beat me to it:

So, let’s parse this. According to the leftist media, if you suffer an injury in a terrible situation, the situation itself is now a pre-existing condition. In other words, these headlines could just have easily read, “In Trump’s America, Car Crashes Are Pre-Existing Conditions,” or “Under The New Health Care Bill, Soccer Accidents Could Be A Pre-Existing Condition.” The bill itself says that pre-existing conditions are pre-existing conditions. Nowhere does it give a list of pre-existing conditions including “rape” or “sexual assault,” because these are activities leading to injury, not actual injuries.

As Ben notes, “The debate has now been so skewed that we think the government can magically have health insurance cover rape – which doesn’t even make sense. If no injury occurred requiring medical attention due to a rape, what would the insurance company do to cover it? Pray? Hunt down rapists?” What activists are really arguing is that the cause of a pre-existing condition should matter to policymakers. And that is certainly a legitimate subject to debate, but as Kevin Williamson explains on the home page, scarcity always limits our choices. 

One of the things that’s most galling about the Obamacare debate is the stubborn insistence from all too many activists on the Left that we can have it all. We can have universal, affordable, high-quality health care, and the reasons why we don’t are due to the greed, heartlessness, and hatefulness of our political opponents. Santa Claus is real, they argue, and the only thing keeping him from shimmying down into your house is that spiked grate the GOP put at the top of the chimney.

But the GOP is used to this by now, and so are GOP voters. When it comes to arguments over health care, there truly is nothing new under the sun:

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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