September 24, 2008

More on "Rape-Gate" In Wasilla.

Apparently, it is the custom of some hospitals to bill rape victims--or, rather, their insurance companies--for their emergency exams, including rape kits. Some states permit this as standard practice, since the costs are generally absorbed by insurance companies.

This had nothing to do with Sarah Palin.

The reform that occurred before she became governor was a statewide effort to try to get hospitals not to send bills to the victims of sex crimes (even if the costs would ultimately be covered by insurance) and to make it clear to the hospitals—and to these victims—that law enforcement considered the ER visits (especially, of course, the rape kits) to be part of their responsibility, as their main purpose is to gather evidence to help cops solves crimes. Even in small towns scraping by on a shoestring, forensic evidence is forensic evidence, and is the responsibility of law enforcement.

The lawmakers' hope was that a rape victim would not even see an invoice or statement (even if it were intended to be paid by the insurance company). This hyper-sensitive (and, I think, sensible) approach is not taken in every state, but it was eventually mandated in Alaska. The legislation was passed, and signed into law, before Palin became governor.

So she gets neither credit for the reform, nor blame if any insensitive hospitals did, indeed, include rape kit charges on their financial statements to the victims of sex crimes. Apparently no one has been able to establish for sure one way or the other whether such statements or bills were actually sent to sex-crime victims in Wasilla during Sarah's time as Mayor of that town. Certainly, we do not know if she was made aware of it, if it did occur.)

One hell of a hat tip to:
Confederate Yankee, on rape kits, Part I
Confederate Yankee, on rape kits, Part II

No word yet on whether Confederate Yankee (or Charlie at Explorations, for that matter) will be invoicing the mainstream news outlets who reported the story wrong, thereby compelling unpaid journalists to pick up the pieces after the hacks at CNN, US News & World Report, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press, and "dozens" of others reported the story wrong because, hey—shoeleather is expensive, and phone bills are high, and what's the harm anyway, if it might help put Obama in the White House where he belongs?

Via Twitter-Tweets from Flap.

Posted by Attila Girl at September 24, 2008 01:30 AM | TrackBack

Interestingly, North Carolina state hospitals charge for rape kits (

So, apparently, do quite a few municipalities and states. Or rather, like you mention, they bill the insurance.

Posted by: William Teach at September 24, 2008 03:56 PM

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