Just when you think you’ve heard all the bad healthcare takes, another well-intended Congressman turns around and proves you wrong.
Last week, a local Pennsylvania chapter of Indivisible activists uploaded a video of their meeting with Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) regarding his vote for the American Healthcare Act (ACHA), during which Perry asserted that he doesn’t think he should pay for maternity care, because he himself is done having children.
During the video, one of the activists explained to Perry the dire effects that could take placeif the ACHA becomes law. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare law requires certain “essential health benefits,” such as maternity care, be covered by insurers.
However, should the ACHA replace the ACA, states would beallowed to opt out of that mandate, which would allow insurers to hike upcosts for those benefits.
Before the ACA, she explained, women who couldn’t get insurance through an employer had extreme difficulty gettingmaternity care covered by insurers88 percent of individual insurance plans didn’t cover itand often had to pay more than men for the same coverage. To which Perry replied, “I don’t want maternity care. We have two children. We’re not having any more. I don’t want to pay for maternity care.”
Which, sure, on the surface would maketotal sense, if that’s how insurance worked. But it doesn’t. When Perry’s wife, Christy, went into labor both times to deliver their daughters, provided that theyused health insurance, her maternity care was covered by other people who paid premiums for their own health insurancejust as other women were able to have their maternity care covered when Perry paid his own premiums. Everyone pays into a system that they will eventuallyuse when they need it, something that Perry has already done. Should his two daughters grow up to have children themselves, they will do the same
Another Indivisible activist equated paying for the essential benefit to a societal good of property owners who pay taxes that go toward public schools, but don’t have children who go there. To which Perryreplied, “Some people never want to start a family.Some people don’t want to do a lot of things. Some people dont want to own a Cadillac, but should we want to make everybody pay for a Cadillac?”
Comparing maternity coverage to owning a Cadillac might be a bit of a stretch as far as societal goods are concerned, but as HuffPost points out, this talking point is well-worn among Republicans who think women should be the sole contributors of maternity care coverage. While debating the ACA in2009, former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) assertedhe personally didn’tneed maternity care.
“I dont need maternity care, and so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something that I dont need and will make the policy more expensive,” Kyl said.
“Ithink your mom probably did,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) replied.
View the maternity care conversation between Perry and the Indivisible activists below: