Politics - U.S.Tue Dec 10, 2013 - 11:50 am EST
Nevada prostitutes praise Obamacare: law will force insurers to cover them regardless of risk
MOUND HOUSE, NV, December 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Prostitutes at Nevada’s Moonlight Bunny Ranch brothel appear to be among the few remaining Americans still excited about Obamacare.
After the disastrous rollout of the president’s signature health care legislation, the law’s approval rating has dropped to a dismal 33 percent, and a new poll by Gallup showed that the more Americans learn about the plan, the less they like it.
But the women at Bunny Ranch told KRNV-TV that Obamacare is “truly a blessing” for prostitutes like them, because under the law they cannot be refused coverage, even though they put their health at risk every day by having sex with strangers.
“Having this profession, we aren’t exactly offered group health insurance,” prostitute Taylor Lee told KRNV-TV. “It’s hard because I do have a pre-existing condition so I really support Obamacare. I’m excited.”
Until now, insurers were reluctant to sell coverage to prostitutes because their job puts them at increased risk for costly, incurable and even life-threatening STDs. Meanwhile, brothels are not required to provide insurance for them because prostitutes are considered independent contractors under Nevada law.
But now, insurance companies cannot say no – and as long as a prostitute makes less than four times the federal poverty limit, she will be eligible for taxpayer-funded subsidies to help cover the cost of her premiums, which are likely to be high given her dangerous work.
Prostitute “Caressa Kisses” said she feels unfairly judged by insurance companies. “They equate us to illegal working girls who have very high STD's and AIDS rates which we have none of the above. We're legal, licensed prostitutes,” Kisses told KRNV-TV.
Although condom use is mandated by state law during intercourse and oral sex acts with prostitutes, prostitutes in Nevada must still be tested weekly for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and monthly for HIV and syphilis.
But according to the Centers for Disease Control, rapid tests for HIV have a high false negative rate and should be repeated after three months to be considered reliable. During those three months, the CDC recommends abstinence or “mutual monogamy” with a trusted partner – difficult advice to follow when having sex with strangers is your job.
Ultimately, though, the required tests are designed to protect clients, not prostitutes, from infection. Clients are never tested at all, which means in between tests, the prostitutes are repeatedly exposing themselves to possible sources of infection. Additionally, the state does not require prostitutes to be tested for herpes or HPV, which can lead to several forms of cancer.
Laurence Vance, a policy adviser at the free-market think tank Future of Freedom Foundation, told LifeSiteNews that he believes forcing insurers to offer coverage to people who gamble with their health for a living is wrong, and forcing taxpayers to foot the bill is even worse.
“Not only should insurance companies not be forced to enroll sex workers, they should not be forced to enroll anyone they don’t want to enroll for any reason,” Vance said. “The real problem with the various Obamacare mandates, regulations, and reforms has nothing to with medical care or health insurance. The problem is simply one of unauthorized, unlawful, unconstitutional intervention by the federal government.”
“The federal government has no authority whatsoever to tell insurance companies whom they must enroll or what their polices should be regarding pre-existing medical conditions, annual and lifetime caps on benefits, and co-payments and deductibles,” Vance continued. “Likewise, the federal government has no authority whatsoever to tell employers what benefits they must offer, what the benefits must include, the minimum requirements of the benefits, the maximum amount they can charge employees for a particular benefit, or what constitutes a full-time employee.”
“As concerning individuals,” Vance added, “the federal government not only has no authority whatsoever to require anyone to purchase a product or service; it has no authority to force some Americans to pay for the health insurance or medical care of other Americans. No American has a right to the resources of another American, no matter how low his income or his ‘need’ for medical services.”
The dangerous risks of sex work, even with mandatory condom use and frequent routine testing, have made headlines recently in Los Angeles, where the adult film industry was temporarily shut down after an outbreak of HIV earlier this year and a syphilis outbreak in 2012.
Former porn actress Vanessa Belmond told a British documentary crew last month that all the testing just gives sex workers a false sense of safety.
“I had gonorrhea. I had bacterial infections a lot, and the testing, I thought, was keeping me safe, because they make it sound like everyone is tested,” Belmont said. “The thing is, you only test once a month, and all through that month they still have a ‘clean’ test, but they might have gotten something in the meantime.”
Michelle Savoy, a former Bunny Ranch prostitute, spoke to journalist Crystelle Rife in 2011 about the risks of her profession and the false sense of security the rules provided her.
“I felt like I walked around with a false confidence that nothing would ever happen to me,” said Savoy. “There were times when I could have caught something. They don’t explain the rules of safe sex to you. You have to figure it out yourself. There is a Bunny Bible but it is not mandatory to read it. You will not get fired for not using a condom. Once the doors are closed who knows what girls are doing?”