Flexible working. Feminism. Fun.

To the congressman who doesn’t think that men should have to pay for prenatal care

To the congressman who doesn’t think that men should have to pay for prenatal care

Hey there, John Shimkus. Nice surname, by the way. It’s fun to say. Shimkus. Shimkus. Shimkus. It just kind of gets all stuck behind your teeth, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I hear that you don’t support the Affordable Care Act, primarily because it requires all healthcare plans to cover maternity services.

At a recent House Energy and Commerce Committee debate about Republican amendments to the Affordable Care Act, you had the following conversation with Democrat Mike Doyle.

Doyle: “What mandate in the Obamacare bill does he take issue with?”

You: “What about men having to purchase prenatal care? I’m just…is that not correct? And should they?”

Yes, they should. And here’s why.

Pregnancy is not only a women’s thing.

By definition, pregnancy requires male participation. You have three kids. I presume you played some part in making them. If men can be responsible for getting a woman pregnant, they should also be responsible for helping to pay for her maternity care.

Health insurance works by pooling risks.

The healthy subsidize the sick. No one is going to need all healthcare services all the time, but we’ll all need healthcare at some point. So a woman might need expensive maternity services this year, but next year you might need to be treated for a heart attack. (Because you’re a middle-aged man, and you’re much more likely to have a heart attack than a woman of childbearing age.)

We take turns. That’s what makes the system work. I pay for your prostate exam, you pay for my pap smear. Quid pro quo, Shimkus.

You like women, right?

You have a wife. You have a mother. You may have aunts, sisters and female friends. I’m going to assume that you care about them, respect them, and believe that they deserve fair and equitable treatment. That means not forcing them to purchase expensive maternity-inclusive insurance plans created by companies that are eager to take advantage of women who have the audacity to want to have a family.

Men and women are in the baby-making business together. It’s time that you and your “but a man can’t deliver a baby” politician pals start recognising that.

Top image © US Army Corps of Engineers under the Creative Commons license

19 thoughts on “To the congressman who doesn’t think that men should have to pay for prenatal care”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: