Saturday, September 26, 2009

What do Jon Kyl and the Republicans have against mothers?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

There was much ado yesterday about the exchange between Republican Sen. Jon Kyl and Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. I even tweeted about it. To refresh your memory:

Kyl: "I don't need maternity care..."

Stabenow: "I think your mom probably did."

Stabenow's interjection was both funny and poignant, but the focus should really be on Kyl's comments. As Steve Benen remarks, "Kyl's argument is worthy of derision":

In the hopes of making insurance cheaper, Kyl is comfortable with not covering basic maternity care. The status quo -- only 21 states require insurers to provide maternity care benefits -- is just fine with the #2 senator in the GOP leadership. If discriminatory practices boost industry profits, it's just the free market working as it should.

Kyl's measure was defeated, 14 to 9. That nine Republicans voted for it says a great deal about how the GOP is approaching the reform debate.

In other words, Republicans are against even basic care for new mothers. Not only are they not interested in compromise, they're actively working to preserve the injustices and failures of the existing system. And they're "approaching the reform debate" by being against reform altogether, unless it's reform to enhance the status quo.

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