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When a man said he didn’t want to pay for maternity leave, this woman’s response went viral

Indy 100 logoIndy 100 18/05/2017 Joe Vesey-Byrne

© Provided by Independent Print Limited Not just a man, but a member of US House of Representatives. Thank god for the internet.

In the old days such a remark might receive a stiff letter in the newspaper. Now a woman's response to Representative Rod Blum (R- Iowa) can go viral, for all the world to see.

On Monday, speaking before a crowd of constituents, Blum stated that he felt a man paying maternity insurance was 'crazy'.

"Get rid of some of these crazy regulations that Obamacare puts in... Such as a 62-year-old male having to have pregnancy insurance."

Blum was holding a town hall meeting in Dubuque, Iowa, in front of a hostile crowd, to explain his vote to repeal President Obama's Affordable Care Act, 

To Blum's credit, many House Republicans who voted to repeal have not faced their constituents since the vote on 4 May.

In an answer that took over two minutes to deliver, due to booing and jeering from the crowd, Blum set out his opposition to the healthcare policy which gave millions of Americans health insurance.

One member of the crowd, Barbara Rank, did not speak during the town hall meeting.

“I did not have a question to ask”, she told the Washington Post.

Rank, a retired special education teacher instead wrote a letter to her local paper. Old school. And she destroyed Blum’s logic in a few words.

106 words to be exact.

"Congressman Rod Blum in a Dubuque town hall (Monday) night asked, “Why should a 62-year-old man have to pay for maternity care?”

I ask, 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? Why should I pay the salaries of politicians I didn’t for, a tax cut that doesn’t affect me, or a loophole I can’t take advantage of?

It’s called democracy, a civil society, the greater good. That’s what we pay for."

A photo of the Rank’s message, published in the Telegraph Herald on Friday, went up on Reddit on Tuesday. It’s already received 101,000 upvotes and been on the website’s front page.

According to the Washington Post it was only on Friday that Rank, who has AOL but no social media, learned what Reddit was.

On Blum, Rank said to the Washington Post: "Come on, didn’t we learn this in fifth-grade social studies?"

The responses to the letter haven’t been entirely positive. Early comments on website of the Telegraph Herald however, rejected her premise - with one asking “Did you ever consider social responsibility”.

A spokesperson for Blum wrote: "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…Obviously he understands that taxes pay for things that not everybody uses." 

In the full video, Blum responded to multiple questions regarding his vote to repeal. He was asked by a constituent: "How could you have made this bill better, speak to us truthfully, we are your neighbours..."

It was in response to this question that Blum made his remarks about removing the 'crazy' regulations that meant a man would pay a premium that also contributed to maternity care.

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