Fox News Worries That Women Are Taking Up Too Much Health Care

What Women Really Think
Aug. 27 2013 11:04 AM

Fox News Worries That Women Are Taking Up Too Much Health Care

Tuesday morning, Fox and Friends decided, for reasons that are hazy at best, that their latest attack on Obamacare should be on one of the most noncontroversial provisions in the law: the ban on gender rating for insurance premiums. Dr. David Samadi came on the show to argue that because women use more health care—mostly because they live longer on average, tend to see doctors for checkups more, and because child-bearing is expensive—they should be required to pay more. This newfound enthusiasm for strict economic fairness between men and women sadly did not lead Fox to also advocate that men stop getting paid more than women for their work, even though they had a perfect opportunity to do so on Monday, which was Women's Equality Day

While it's not surprising that Fox News is in the business of trying to stoke male resentment of women by insinuating women are getting something for nothing, one would hope this ploy is beneath even the low standards of the Fox audience. As Gretchen Carlson couldn't help but point out in reference to childbirth costs, starting a pregnancy takes two people, but bringing it to fruition only takes one. Samadi didn't really have a good rejoinder to that. "Not always," he said, creating one of those situations where you really wish a follow-up question was asked. Was he suggesting that the ridiculously small number of pregnancies created in single or lesbian women by sperm donors was justification enough to spare men the responsibility of sharing childbirth costs?


There's no way of knowing, since he blew right past Carlson's objections to complain that since women have breasts and gonads whereas poor men only have gonads, women need to pay what amounts to $1 billion more a year in insurance premiums. What went completely unmentioned, as often does in these resentment narratives, is that since many men and women share household expenses, that $1 billion loss, just as with women's lost income due to pay inequity, lowers the standard of living for millions of husbands and boyfriends across the nation. In case men are your only concern. 

While Samadi was game to play along with the women-are-stealing-health-care narrative, it was clear that what he really wanted to talk about was the "problem" of all the poors getting health care. He had what he considered a perfect solution to fix all the problems with the health care system: You don't get health care unless you have the cash to pay for it. While he made an exception for accidents and other emergency room costs—he supports a catastrophic insurance system—his solution for all other health care was nutty even by Fox News standards: "When it comes to your CAT scans, X-rays, doctors, you have to come in with your credit card or cash and say, 'I'd like to see the doctor.' "

He added, "That would take care of all of this stuff," presumably by pricing all but the wealthiest Americans out of having health care at all. If your main concern is making sure that women don't get a single iota more doctor attention than men do, then he's got a point there. After all, not only do women make less money than men on average, but women are far more likely to live in poverty than men. Of course, such a system would dramatically reduce the number of patients for doctors to see, which would probably make medicine a much less lucrative career for people like Samadi, but I guess that's a sacrifice he's willing to make to stop this horrible injustice of lower-income people, especially women, thinking that health care is a right instead of a luxury.

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows


The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

We Could Fix Climate Change for Free. What Exactly Is Holding Us Back?

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 5:56 PM Watch Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle, Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, and More on New YouTube Channel
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 7:23 PM MIT Researchers Are Using Smartphones to Interact With Other Screens
  Health & Science
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?