A GOP congressman asked why men should have to pay for maternity care, and this woman’s response is now resonating across the country.
Barbara Rank, 63, wrote to her local newspaper, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, after Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) made the comments at a town hall last Monday.
Blum said he’d voted in favor of legislation that repeals and replaces major parts of the Affordable Care Act to “get rid of some of these crazy regulations that Obamacare puts on […] such as a 62-year-old male having to have pregnancy insurance.”
His remark did not sit well with Rank, however, who was in the audience.
In her letter to the newspaper, which was published Friday, Rank explained how the lawmaker’s comment had caused her to rhetorically ask herself “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?” the retired special education teacher continued. “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?”
Rank ended her missive explaining why she did actually believe in people paying for all of those things ― by saying how it was all about “democracy,” “a civil society” and “the greater good.”
Someone posted a photograph of her letter to Reddit over the weekend, and it’s now gone viral, sparking positive reactions across the internet:
Rank said she’d laughed at the response to her letter because it’s “such a silly little piece.” The conclusion to the note, however, was something she “always” ends up saying, she added.
“Every argument I’ve ever had with somebody, friends or relative: Don’t you want to live in a civil society?” she told The Washington Post. “Government is the structure of the country we live in. It’s not as bad as people make it out to be.”
John Ferland, a representative for Blum, later claimed the congressman’s comment (which can be heard in the clip above) had been “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,” Ferland told the Telegraph Herald. “Obviously, he understands that taxes pay for things that not everybody uses.”
Rank, however, told The Des Moines Register that the popularity of her letter “just shows that a lot of people have the same feelings and thoughts that I did.”