The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal.com’s “Best of the Web” written by the editor, James Taranto.
Answers to Questions Nobody Is Asking
“Why So Many Icelanders Still Believe in Invisible Elves”–headline, TheAtlantic.com, Oct. 29
Out on a Limb
“Obamacare May Be Beyond Salvaging”–headline, Debra Saunders syndicated column, Oct. 31
You forgot to remind us, but that’s OK, we remembered. One of the things that makes a health plan not a health plan under ObamaCare is if it doesn’t include coverage for maternity care. That’s what the president means when he asserts that insurance companies “can’t use . . . the fact that you’re a woman to charge you more.” If you’re a man buying insurance only for yourself, or for yourself and your sons, you have to buy maternity coverage so the ladies can have a price break.
That subject came up at yesterday’s hearing when Secretary Sebelius was questioned by Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina. Breitbart.com reported on it under the headline “Sebelius: ‘Men Often Do Need Maternity Care.’ ” That quote, while accurate, is tendentious, as the full context shows:
Ellmers: You also brought up the issue that when you were in Kansas [as health commissioner and governor] that you fought against discriminatory issue. . . . As far as [ObamaCare’s] essential health benefits, correct me if I’m wrong: Do men not have to buy maternity care?
Sebelius: Policies will cover maternity coverage. For the young and healthy, uh, under 30-year-olds will have a choice also of a catastrophic plan that has no maternity coverage.
Ellmers: But men are required to purchase maternity coverage.
Sebelius: Well, an insurance policy has a series of benefits whether you use them or not–
Ellmers: And that is why health care premiums are increasing, because we are forcing them to buy things that they will never need. Thank you.
Sebelius: The individual policies cover families. Men often do need maternity care for their spouses and for their families, yes.
Ellmers: A single male, aged 32, does need maternity coverage. To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby?
Sebelius’s point is actually a reasonable one, as far as it goes: A male policyholder can benefit from maternity coverage if his plan covers his wife as well as him. But the exchange reveals two other ObamaCare oddities.
First, it’s not only men who are forced to buy maternity coverage they are physically incapable of using. So are women in the stage of life between childbearing age and Medicare eligibility.
Second, under-30s are exempt. That’s right, the geniuses who wrote ObamaCare are forcing everyone to buy maternity care except the age cohort that includes women at peak fertility.
For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists. (Note: The excerpts above are from the Oct. 31 BOTW archives.)