During Cohen’s testimony, Rep. Mark Meadows (R) demanded to know why Americans are forced to buy coverage for services that don’t apply to them. He pointed out that he and his wife are in their 50s and don’t plan on using maternity coverage anytime soon. The doctor attempted to explain that maternity care is one of the ten essential health benefits that Obamacare requires new plans to include, but Meadows wasn’t convinced:"No shit, Representative Sherlock. That is how insurance works. You buy coverage for things that may or may not happen."
MEADOWS: So you have to buy maternity, even though you may never have a child?
That is correct.
MEADOWS: Are there other things you have to buy that you may never use?"Well, there's car insurance, and fire insurance, and literally every other type of insurance I can think of because that is what "insurance against" something means, that's where the word comes from, you know, and from the purely health standpoint you probably have insurance against heart attacks even if you don't personally plan on having one because guess what, poindextrose, insurance. Insurance. Innnsuuuuurance. Please tell me they at least gave you a dictionary when you got this job—"
It depends on your personal family situation and your medical situation. I’ll say as an internist, and a primary care doc, that sometimes you don’t know what that medical situation will be going forward, and that’s the nature–
Please read below the fold for more of this ridiculous interaction.
MEADOWS: But maternity is one that you can probably analyze pretty well for someone who’s in their 50s."That's almost a reasonable question, so good job—although pregnancy after fifty is still possible, which is one of the reasons we probably should not nix insurance coverage for it based on the medical understandings of one Rep. Mark Meadows. But to get to the larger stupid point you were making, again—that is how insurance works. Everyone insures themselves for things that probably will not actually happen to them, and the small amount of money contributed by each of them becomes a large pool of money that can be used to assist anyone in the group who does have that thing happen to them.
Right, but it’s a minimal essential benefit we wanted to make sure that all Americans had access to.
"While we could break every bit of insurance apart, having separate things like heart insurance, lung insurance, toenail insurance and the like, we don't do that because first, it would be absurdly more complex, and second, the odds of someone being hit with a medical condition that their particular sub-menu of choices didn't cover becomes large, thus defeating much of the purpose of "universal" health insurance and—you're not getting any of this, are you? All right, let's just go with "because it's cheaper that way." The premiums I pay go toward insuring other people against testicular cancer, and you don't hear me complaining about that because duh."
All right, I think we've fixed it up plenty. Now to send it off and have it read into the congressional record.