As millions of Americans worry about losing their health insurance entirely or basic coverage for hospital visits and maternity care under Trumpcare, one Republican Senator is giving Americans another reason to get their blood pressure going — after he jokingly spoke about mammograms and sparked outrage on Twitter.
When asked by Talking Points Memo whether the Senate would be willing to compromise on certain basic coverage mandated under Obamacare that conservatives want removed, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) responded, “I sure don’t want want my mammogram benefits taken away.”
The Senator was referring to a tired, predominantly Republican argument that men should not have to pay for services only used by women because they believe this drives up healthcare costs. Roberts soon backtracked and issued an apology after his comments received backlash on Twitter, most notably from Democratic congresswomen who didn’t think his comments were very funny.
“I deeply regret my comments on a very important topic,” Roberts tweeted. “Mammograms are essential to women’s health & I never intended to indicate otherwise.”
Mammogram coverage is not part of the Essential Health Benefit under Obamacare, but rather mandated under a different section of Affordable Healthcare Act that requires insurance cover preventative care for women.
More than 2,400 men die of breast cancer each year.