During a debate over the Republicans’ replacement for former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, a GOP congressman questioned why men should have to pay for prenatal care.
In a Committee on Energy and Commerce meeting to mark up the newly introduced American Health Care Act, Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Penn., lamented Republicans’ previous refusal to consider improvements to the existing health care law, which was passed in 2010.
After a committee member complained about the mandates included in the ACA, Doyle named elements of the ACA that are also included in its replacement as proof of the original’s merits.
“What mandate in the Obamacare bill does he take issue with?” Doyle said. “Certainly not with preexisting conditions, or caps on benefits, or letting your child stay on the policy to 26, so I’m curious what is it we’re mandating.”
Requesting Doyle yield the floor, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., chimed in with a criticism of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurance plans include maternity coverage.
“What about men having to purchase prenatal care?” Shimkus asked. “I’m just … is that not correct? And should they?”
“There’s no such thing as à la carte insurance, John,” Doyle shot back, amid murmurs in the room.
A spokesperson for Shimkus did not return a request for comment.
The comments were quickly picked up and criticized by reproductive health advocacy organizations, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, which works to elect politicians who support abortion rights and affordable birth control.
— NARAL (@NARAL) March 9, 2017
Both Shimkus and his press secretary tangled with Planned Parenthood over the comments.
— John Shimkus (@RepShimkus) March 9, 2017
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) March 9, 2017
— Jordan Haverly (@jhaverly) March 9, 2017