“Right to life” representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC) recently took the opportunity to attack Health and Human Services director Kathleen Sebelius over, guess what? The ACA’s pregnancy coverage requirement for insurance carriers. Under the new law, all health insurance providers must provide pregnancy coverage and prenatal care. Ellmers, a member of the “Pro-life Caucus” and the “Pro-life Women’s Caucus” showed her moral outrage over the ACA mandating insurance coverage for pregnancy, at a recent hearing in the Capitol.
The law requires insurance agencies to provide pregnancy coverage in every plan it places on the market.
While questioning Sebelius, Ellmers does her best to imply that the new healthcare law will force men to buy something they will never need, pregnancy coverage. Her arguments are not only hypocritical for someone who claims to be “pro-life,” but they also have no basis in fact, and are totally absurd.
Obamacare does not require men to buy pregnancy coverage. The law forces insurance agencies to provide pregnancy coverage in every plan it places on the market. It also outlaws what was once a common practice of insurance companies, which was to deny health coverage to pregnant women. There is a big difference between what Ellmers has implied and what the law really requires.
Ellmers obviously picked a line of questioning that was near and dear to her heart.
As lawmaker who claims to be “pro-life,” Renee Ellmers obviously picked a line of questioning that was near and dear to heart. Instead of defending the unborn and making sure they get good pre-natal care, Ellmers asks, “why should we have to pay for that?” This principle defines everything that she and her fellow republicans stand for. It’s surreal to watch this woman, who claims to stand for the ‘unborn,’ attacking the part of the ACA that makes pregnancy coverage mandatory.
During the questioning, an outraged Ellmers demands to know why a man would ever need pregnancy coverage. Sebelius does her best to respond to her twisted line of logic. She makes attempts to explain to the confused Kansas representative that men have families who often need the coverage. Ellmers quickly cuts her off. At another point Sebelius attempts to tell her that the law simply requires that insurance carriers include pregnancy coverage in all new plans. Ellmers cuts her off again.
“I don’t want to mislead the public…” Sebelius responds.
Ellmers is obviously attempting to use her position as an elected official, to mislead the public as to the requirements of the new healthcare law. She demands that Sebelius give her yes or no answers on questions which are badly phrased and wholly misleading. “I don’t want to mislead the public…” Sebelius responds at one point, to a question about whether men are being forced to purchase pregnancy coverage. Her response, again, is cut short by Ellmers.
For someone who claims to “stand for the unborn,” Ellmers intense obsession with opposing mandatory healthcare coverage for pregnant women, is beyond hypocritical. To follow her line of reasoning, we could ask why Obamacare covers testicular cancer or prostate disease, or better yet, Viagra. These are obviously not provisions that any woman will ever need coverage for. Yet Ellmers chooses to direct her line of questioning, not at Viagra, but at the mandatory pregnancy coverage provision.
Let’s take a look at the facts.
Let’s look at the facts. Prior to Obamacare, almost 90 percent of insurance carriers offered no pregnancy coverage. Even if you had insurance, if you got pregnant, you were on your own. The small minded view that those practices didn’t affect men is laughable. Ask any man who has ever been forced to pay for prenatal care, delivery, hospitalization or postnatal care , because his pregnant wife or girlfriend was dropped from her insurance, or never had it to begin with. Ellmers implies that men don’t want or need this coverage. Informed men, meaning those who aren’t listening to the drivel spewed forth by the right wing, realize that they do want and need this coverage.
Coverage for maternity care — health care that only women need — has been routinely excluded by the private insurance market. Prior to Obamacare, only 12 percent of plans sold in the United States offered maternity coverage. The coverage which was most commonly offered was inadequate, with lengthy waiting periods and high deductibles, which could cost as much as childbirth itself. Once Obamacare is fully implemented, about 8.7 million women will have guaranteed pregnancy coverage, which must now be offered in all new individual and small group plans. [Source: Obamacare Facts]
The fact is that the United States spends more tax dollars on healthcare than countries that have entirely socialized healthcare systems.
While the “fiscally responsible” republican party likes to pretend that taxpayers weren’t paying for pregnancy until the ACA came along, that’s not the truth. The fact is that the United States spends more tax dollars on healthcare than countries that have entirely socialized healthcare systems, including Germany, Australia and Canada. The fact that pregnancy was excluded from the majority of private health insurance plans, prior to the ACA, is just one reason why healthcare costs in the U.S. are out of control. By getting our future citizens off to a good start, the ACA’s pregnancy coverage mandate can help bring these costs down.
Here’s a video on why healthcare for all Americans costs way more than in other modern nations:
Whether a pregnant woman was forced to apply for Medicaid in order to receive healthcare or whether she gave birth to a child without insurance, and found herself buried in bills she couldn’t pay, it doesn’t matter. The cost of maternal care and childbirth has been transferred from the insurance industry to the tax-paying public for decades.
It is not only that taxpayers pick up the bill for low income pregnant women through Medicaid. They also cover the cost of unpaid bills for pregnancy and maternal care. That happens every time doctors, hospitals and other healthcare professionals have to raise prices on everyone, in order to make up for the loss they experience when providing care for those who can’t or won’t pay for their medical expenses.
In Ellmers distorted world view, women are creating their own pregnancies, and now men will be forced to pay for them.
In another glaring display of hypocrisy, Ellmers despair over the thought of single men being required to pay for pregnancy coverage, entirely ignores the role that men play in getting women pregnant. In her distorted world view, women are creating their own pregnancies, and now men will be forced to pay for them. In reality, pregnancy is the only thing on earth that requires both a male and a female. Her position is that ‘since men can’t get pregnant, they shouldn’t be required to participate in a healthcare system that covers pregnant women’. That is nothing short of infuriating.
What about all those single mothers the right is always blaming for the collapse of the American society? It seems as if Ellmers believes that single men are not sexually active and are not playing a role in the creation of pregnancy. If that’s true, where do single mothers get their babies from, the stork?
What an ignorant, fantasy based position this is. Single men have nothing to do with pregnancy? Since when? Single men shouldn’t be required to pay into a system that covers pregnancy, because single men can’t get pregnant? Reality check. Single women can’t get pregnant without the help of single men. (Ok yes, sometimes it’s a married man. But statistically speaking, single men are the number one cause of pregnancy in single women.)
What really gets me is that when the pro-life party isn’t arguing against the ACA’s pregnancy coverage requirement, or demanding that men be excluded from contributing to pregnancy coverage, the phony “pro-lifers” are defending the “rights” of men who want to force women to carry their pregnancy to term. So men have the right to determine what a woman chooses to do with her body during pregnancy, for one argument. But for another argument, men have nothing to do with pregnancy and shouldn’t be required to help pay for it. Inconsistencies like these are a sure sign that there is absolutely no moral or ethical foundation for right wing policies.
Under the new healthcare law, it is now illegal for insurance companies to charge women more than men.
If it’s not a moral or ethical stance, then what is Ellmers really fighting for here? Under the new healthcare law, it is now illegal for insurance companies to charge women more than men. Discrimination in insurance rates is something that has been legal in the United States for a long time. Is she fighting against a system that is “unfair to men?” Not even close. Is she fighting for the rights of the unborn children whom she claims to so strongly care about? Hell no. She’s fighting for her billion dollar corporate donors, who don’t want to pay for pregnancy coverage. The people whose profits she has sworn a blood oath to protect, at the expense of women and infants and most of all, the cherished unborn.
It’s hard to decide what is most appalling about Ellmers.
Watch the video and listen to Ellmers line of questioning. Note how she tries to distort the facts and how fast she cuts off Sebelius, every time the Health and Human Services Director tries to correct her totally false interpretation of the law. It’s hard to decide what is most appalling about Ellmers. Is it that she’s an anti-abortion fanatic that opposes pregnancy coverage? Is it that she’s a women that is arguing for discrimination against women in our healthcare system? Or is it just that she’s a soulless GOP hack, masquerading as a human being that has morals and principles?
Here’s the video with Renee Ellmers’ insane exchange with Sebelius on the ACA’s pregnancy coverage mandate: