Happy Mother’s Day!
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), who has three children, suggested during a 27-hour markup session on the new GOP-led healthcare bill that Republicans have opposed the Affordable Care Act because they don’t want to be forced to pay for coverage they don’t intend to use—like prenatal care for the women that men get pregnant.
On Wednesday, following Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s (R-OK) insistence that premiums were “skyrocketing” due to “mandates from Obamacare,” Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) demanded that someone explain to him exactly which Obamacare stipulations Republicans found so objectionable. Certainly, Doyle said, Republicans don’t mind coverage for people with pre-existing conditions or for children under 26 who want to stay on their parents’ health plans. “So I’m curious,” Doyle continued. “What is it we’re mandating?”
“What about men having to purchase prenatal care?” Shimkus wanted to know. “Is that not correct? And should they?”
Doyle mostly sputtered in response, so allow us to clarify this super fast.
Number one: Unless you went to Cady Heron’s high school, you know it takes two people to make a baby.
Number two: The entire insurance market depends on our all paying for some services we don’t use so that when unexpected health circumstances arise in our lives, our plans can accommodate them.
This issue was also a point of debate when Congress first discussed passing Obamacare. Many Republican men then were also baffled as to why women shouldn’t have sole responsibility for paying for plans that cover maternity care. One of the most memorable moments from the congressional debate was during a hearing in 2009 when Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) reminded a male GOP senator why services such as maternal care benefit everyone.
“I don’t need maternity care, and so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something that I don’t need and will make the policy more expensive,” then-Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) argued during a hearing in September 2009.
“I think your mom probably did,” Stabenow shot back.