Joel Pollak of Breitbart.com doesn’t seem to be too bright a fellow. For some reason, he seems to think that a line of questioning from Rep. Renee Ellmers to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was brilliant. In fact, gives it an “award for best line of questioning.” Here’s the exchange:
Rep. Ellmers: You also brought up the issue, when you were in Kansas [as governor and health insurance commissioner], that you fought against discriminatory issues. Now I–you know, as far as the essential health benefits [of Obamacare], correct me if I’m wrong, do men not have to buy maternity coverage?
Sec. Sebelius: Policies will cover maternity coverage for young and healthy–
Rep. Ellmers: Including men?
Sec. Sebelius: Under 30-year-olds will have a choice also of a catastrophic plan which has no maternity coverage.
Rep. Ellmers: The men are required to purchase–
Sec. Sebelius: Well, an insurance policy has a series of benefits, whether you use them or not. And one of the benefits will be–
Rep. Ellmers: And that is why the health care premiums are increasing this high, because we’re forcing them to buy things they will never need. Thank you, madam chairman.
Sec. Sebelius: The individual policies cover families. Men often do need maternity coverage for their spouses and for their families, yes.
Rep. Ellmers: Single male, age 32, does not need maternity coverage.
Rep. Ellmers: To the best of your knowledge has a man ever delivered a baby?
Sec. Sebelius: I don’t think so.
Chair: The gentlelady’s time has expired.
Pollak says Ellmers was “on her ‘A’ game” and that Sebelius “tried to squirm away.” Boy, she really trapped the secretary, didn’t she? Well no, she didn’t. This line of questioning is utterly idiotic. Does he think that insurance companies sell policies just for men or just for women now? Does he think that when someone joins a group policy at work or buys an individual policy, they get to decide whether to cover maternity or not? Can he name any insurance policy that does not cover maternity? I doubt it.
I have an individual policy and it covers the full range of health problems that women incur but not men, just as women have policies that cover prostate screenings that they don’t need. Obamacare changes absolutely nothing in this regard. Policies do not specify gender now and they won’t in the health care exchanges either. Is he an idiot? Or does he just think his readers are?
Like Dispatches on Facebook: