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CT Mirror Op-ed: AHCA Creates Barriers for Victims of Domestic Violence

he health care bill that passed in the House earlier this month has the potential to negatively impact large numbers of Connecticut residents, chief among them, domestic violence victims and their families.

Under the American Health Care Act (AHCA), buying insurance will become too expensive for some middle- and low-income victims. Abusers will use that expense, and the continuous coverage requirement, as a means to control their partner. This isn’t hyperbole; maintaining health insurance is a very real barrier for someone trying to leave a relationship. The AHCA does even more harm though, it has the potential to cut off a vital lifeline for victims by making domestic violence a pre-existing condition.

In Connecticut, we average 14 intimate partner homicides each year, a number that has not diminished over the past decade. In response, the Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee conducts multi-disciplinary, systemic examinations of intimate partner fatalities to determine what we can do differently to prevent future homicides. In the most recent report released by the Committee, it was determined that in the majority of homicides the victim had not sought out domestic violence services.

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