Woman's Spot On Response to Congressman's Remarks About Pregnancy Goes Viral

May 16th 2017

Kyle Jaeger

When Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) complained about "crazy" health care regulations that require him, a "62-year-old male," to "have pregnancy insurance" last week, constituents at the town hall event loudly voiced their disapproval.

Rod Blum

But one constituent's response has resonated much further than the crowded town hall in Dubuque, Iowa.

In a letter published in The Telegraph Herald on May 12, Barbara Rank laid it out for Blum — and a photo of the editorial went viral, with one Twitter user posting it on May 14.

Rank offered some alternative hypothetical cases that illustrate the function of taxation for the "greater good," writing:

“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, a tax cut that doesn't affect me, or a loophole I can’t take advantage of?"

The answer, Rank said, is simple: taxpayers shoulder costs that don't necessarily benefit them because we have that responsibility in a democracy.

"It’s called democracy, a civil society, the greater good. That’s what we pay for."

Blum's remarks struck a particular nerve among constituents, many of whom attended the town hall to protest the congressman's "yes" vote on the GOP health care plan, which passed the House in early May.

The plan, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would allow states to opt out of a Obamacare requirement that required insurers to cover pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits — including maternity care. Pregnant woman could see their premiums increase by as much as $17,000 under the plan, according to an analysis by the Centers for American Progress.


Rank's point was that while not all taxpayers will reap the same benefits from the current health care system, the alternative is a system that would only serve those who can afford expensive medical services. There's room for disagreement in terms of how the government spends taxpayer dollars, Rank wrote, but there are certain programs such as maternity care that members of a "civil society" should just accept.