Iowa Congressman Rod Blum probably thought he’d get voters riled up when he questioned why Obamacare mandates men pay for maternity care — and it did, just not in the way he intended.
During a town hall meeting with constituents in Dubuque last Monday, Blum called out what he said were “crazy regulations that Obamacare puts on” and said the GOP’s Affordable Health Care Act, which has yet to be vetted by the Congressional Budget Office, could get rid of them.
His chief concern?
“Such as a 62-year-old male having to have pregnancy insurance,” Blum said, to an angry crowd inside a packed Dubuque high school gym.
The angry back-and-forth went on for two hours, and though 63-year-old Barbara Rank didn’t get up from her seat, she did have something to say to the representative and it went public a few days later in the form of a letter to the editor of her local newspaper.
In response to Blum’s remarks on maternity care Rank wrote, “I ask, why should I pay for a bridge I don’t cross, a sidewalk I don’t walk on, a library book I don’t read? Why should I pay for a flower I won’t smell, a park I don’t visit, or art I can’t appreciate? Why should I pay the salaries of politicians I didn’t vote for…” the list goes on.
“It’s called democracy, a civil society, the greater good. That’s what we pay for,” Rank concluded.
A spokesman for Blum told the Telegraph Herald Blum’s comment “was taken out of context.”
“He was referring to the idea of patients being able to choose health insurance policies that fit their needs, rather than one-size-fits-all policies filled with government mandates,” John Ferland wrote in an email to the Telegraph Herald. “Obviously, he understands that taxes pay for things that not everybody uses.”
Short and sweet, Rank’s 107-word editorial has resonated across the country, garnering countless Facebook shares, re-tweets and accumulating more than 8,290 comments on Reddit, where Rank’s words were first shared.
The retired special education teacher who has no Facebook account only learned what Reddit was on Friday after her daughter saw her mother’s handiwork on the front page of the online message board.
But regardless of her internet savvy, the web has deemed her a “hero.”
Barbara Rank - American hero. Please run for office. We need elected officials with your perspective! https://t.co/VlDm9q7ssh— Suzy Q (@SuzyQuest) May 13, 2017
Barbara Rank sounds like a hero. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 https://t.co/xPhupIloTW— Ashley (@smashleynickel) May 14, 2017