Obamacare debates took a new twist when Kathleen Sebelius claimed men needed maternity care. But while that Obamacare fact seems to be very strange indeed it does have some sort of logic to it.
Representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC) was questioning the Secretary of the HHS over why why maternity coverage will be required in all insurance plans, including for single men. Ellmers claimsthis is part of why insurance premiums are going up under Obamacare. Ellmers rhetorically asked, “To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby?” Sebelius responded, “I don’t think so,” which only caused laughter. But she insisted that some men do need maternity coverage for their spouse and family through individual policies.
If Kathleen Sebelius had been thinking about her answer she would have explained the justification for forcing single men with no families to pay for maternity care. The Affordable Care Act forces insurance companies to cover maternity care, pre-existing conditions, prenatal care, child birth, preventive medicine, and many other measures. But nothing is free in this world so those medical costs have to be covered somehow. After all, many health insurance companies stripped those options from their plans in order to keep their premiums lower.
The plan for keeping the Obamacare rates reasonable are largely dependent on expanding the “insurance pool,” which is the total number of people covered underneath health insurance as defined by the Affordable Care Act. The only way to ensure that happens is to tax Americans who do not comply. That’s where the Obamacare penalty comes into play.
And that’s also why Kathleen Sebelius claiming single men need maternity care can make sense. As of 2011, the number of unmarried people in America 18 and older comprised 44.1 percent of the population. 47 percent this group are single men. Thus, around 21 percent of the US population would suddenly be in the insurance pool and subsidize the cost of maternity care for women.
The debate over whether it’s fair to have one group subsidize another group’s health care is an argument that’s been raging for years. For example, in order for Obamacare exchanges to break even, government officials have said 2.7 million Americans in the 18 to 35 age range must spend $5,800 a year per individual. The younger generation is expected to subsidize the higher medical costs of seniors since it’s assumed younger people will be healthier and not require as much medical coverage.
The overall philosophy of Obamacare requiring an increased insurance pool can be confirmed by President Obama and former President Clinton:
What do you think about Kathleen Sebelius claiming Obamacare should require single men to pay for maternity care coverage?