Republican Congressman John Shimkus Wants to Know Why Men Should Pay for Prenatal Care


Rep. John Shimkus is getting side-eyes from women everywhere.

MORE: Why #CoverageMatters for Latinos

On Wednesday, during a markup session on the new Republican-led healthcare bill, the congressman said that he and his party oppose the Affordable Care Act because they don't want to be forced to pay coverage they don't need, like prenatal care.

“What mandate in the Obamacare bill does he take issue with?” Democratic Representative Mike Doyle asked Shimkus during the discussion.

“What about men having to purchase prenatal care,” Shimkus, a father of three, shot back.

As the room began to buzz, he quickly added: “I’m just … is that not correct? And should they?”

The short answer: yes, Shimkus, they should.

For starters, it takes two people (one of them male) to get pregnant and create need for prenatal care. Secondly, women, too, are paying for healthcare for men that don’t directly benefit them. Under Obamacare, women are required to pay prostate cancer tests as well as a preventative service for older men with a history of smoking for abdominal aortic aneurysms.

“There’s no such thing as à la carte insurance, John,” Doyle validly told Shimkus.

PLUS: How One Medical School is Implementing Trans Healthcare

Ain’t that the truth.

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About this author

Raquel Reichard, Politics & Culture Editor

Raquel is the Politics & Culture Editor and Latina magazine, writing on all things policy, social justice, cultura and health. Formerly at millennial news site Mic, Raquel's work can also be found at the New York TimesCosmo for Latinas, the Washington Post, the Independent and more. A proud NuyoFloRican chonga, when Raquel's not talking Latina feminism, racial justice, the "x" in Latinx or the prison industrial complex, she's going on and on about the Puerto Rican diaspora in Orlando, Fla. Follow her on TwitterInstagram and Snapchat at @RaquelReichard.


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