Alongside the political circus of the Republican push to replace the Affordable Care Act with the American Health Care Act, and the attempt to woo the House Freedom Caucus by eliminating essential health benefit requirements for insurance policies, a new study sheds much-needed light on why our male Republican legislators are behaving this way.
Many Americans are upset by the effort to toss a requirement that helped to make a somewhat viable health insurance market under the ACA: all insurance policies had to cover ten “essential health benefits,” like prescription drugs, mental health care, emergency room visits, and care related to pregnancy, childbirth, and infants.
The problem is that by combining essential health benefit requirements with the individual mandate of the ACA, the government ends up forcing some consumers to buy insurance policies that cover things they don’t need. This is for the sake of establishing an overall health insurance market where most people have some access to decent care, instead of an unsustainable market stacked with two options: cheap policies that don’t cover much (which healthy people would want) and very expensive policies that cover a lot (which sick people would need, but likely not be able to afford).
As at least one male Republican legislator has joked in the process of debating whether healthcare related to pregnancy, birth, and infants should be a baseline benefit in all health insurance policies, he’s never going to need maternity care, so why should it be included in basic health insurance?
The apparent logical flaw here (countered by a woman senator who pointed out that even if he doesn’t use maternity benefits, his mother probably did) has been causing lot of Americans significant mental torture: How can we declare that healthcare for pregnant woman and the infants they birth (in other words, the actual continuation of our species) is a subset of medicine we should disregard in the question of what basic health benefits are? Many people were also distressed by photographs showing that the male Republican legislators debating this question of “women’s healthcare” did not include any women at the table.
But a new study, released just this week, is a welcome resolution to the controversy. Researchers found that male Republican legislators are in fact not gestated, birthed, and nursed by female humans, as previously thought, but fall gently out of the sky, fully formed, healthy, and completely independent of any maternal care.
At the time of their arrival, most of these men are dressed in very nice suits, and are wealthy and white. A majority of them also materialize with an American flag pin on their lapel, and a devoted support staff quickly coalesces around them.
And according to leaked reports, a separate but related study, expected to be released next month, points to new conclusions about human conception. While it is generally believed that all human fetuses result from a joining of the gametes of a man and a woman, this is not true. While many men enjoy and in most cases are entitled to the sex act in whatever form they wish, at any time, the new science shows us that male Republican legislators have no role in conception whatsoever. Fetuses spontaneously generate inside the wombs of male Republican legislators’ female partners—and we can refer to the study cited above to confirm that these fetuses, once born, by dint of having been born of woman, are by definition incapable of becoming male Republican legislators.
(Whether or not any male Republican legislators’ constituents ever need medical care relating to pregnancy, maternity, or infants is a question still under review.)
It’s rare that scientific breakthroughs like this can be so conclusive, so timely, and so harmonious to the goals of our male Republican legislators. It is a welcome relief to know that the people who want to remove pregnancy, maternity, and infant care requirements from health insurance policies are not, in fact, ever personally affected by the need for these services: they are neither born nor made accomplices to birth.
If we did not have these findings, the sheer cognitive dissonance issuing from Washington, D.C. would threaten to unleash debilitating collective panic attacks on hundreds of millions of people, which might revive the controversy over which health benefits male Republican legislators deem essential. Unless, of course, another study finds that male Republican legislators are not affected by anxiety disorders or any mental health concern, which would at least help us all to understand a little bit better why they are not concerned with access to these services for the rest of us.