For a party that claims to support life — even arguing that life begins at conception — the GOP and some of its members don’t want to be forced to pay for maternity care, including prenatal health.
As the crazy debates over “Obamacare” rage on in Congress, one issue is causing some fireworks on Capital Hill: maternity coverage. I know, astounding, right? What’s even more astounding is that such Republican men as Rep. John Shimkus from Illinois say this is one of the reasons Congress needs to replace “Obamacare.”
As a reminder, the Affordable Care Act requires all health plans cover pregnancy and childbirth. And this requirement is taking center stage now in Congressional debates to repeal and replace Obamacare, including the 27-hour debate in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Republican men simply don’t want to pay for it.
Do we need to explain to Republican men where babies come from?
When GOPers in the House Energy and Commerce Committee were complaining about Obamacare and its “mandates,” Democrat Mike Doyle asked GOP committee members to name one mandate they take issue with. That’s when Shimkus asked “What about men having to purchase prenatal care?Is that not correct? And should they?”
That moment started circulating on social media, along with criticism of Shimkus.
NARAL Pro-Choice America, a group that advocates for abortion rights, called attention to it on Twitter:
— NARAL (@NARAL) March 9, 2017
It’s not the first time Republican men have complained about paying for maternity care, as The Washington Post notes:
Nancy Metcalf, an insurance expert and Consumer Reports columnist, answered the question in 2013:
Health insurance, like all insurance, works by pooling risks. The healthy subsidize the sick, who could be somebody else this year and you next year. Those risks include any kind of health care a person might need from birth to death — prenatal care through hospice. No individual is likely to need all of it, but we will all need some of it eventually.
So, as a middle-aged childless man you resent having to pay for maternity care or kids’ dental care. Shouldn’t turnabout be fair play? Shouldn’t pregnant women and kids be able to say, “Fine, but in that case why should we have to pay for your Viagra, or prostate cancer tests, or the heart attack and high blood pressure you are many times more likely to suffer from than we are?” Once you start down that road, it’s hard to know where to stop. If you slice and dice risks, eventually you don’t have a risk pool at all, and the whole idea of insurance falls apart.
In the world according to the GOP, women should have to pay a little more for men who seek help with impotence or erectile dysfunction, but to hell with their paying for getting a woman pregnant.
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