GOP Senator Scoffs at Trumpcare’s Potential Cuts to Women’s Health

His comment came hours before the House was supposed to vote on the Republican health care bill, whose fate is in doubt.

Mark Reinstein/ZUMA

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With Republican support for the American Health Care Act in jeopardy, President Donald Trump held a last-minute meeting with House Freedom Caucus members Thursday to discuss the possibility of eliminating one of Obamacare’s signature elements: the requirement that insurance policies cover 10 so-called essential health benefits.

One of those benefits is preventive services, which include cancer screenings such as mammograms. According to a January report, more women across all income and education levels used mammograms under Obamacare than before the health care law was enacted.

But preserving affordable access to these types of benefits doesn’t seem to be a major concern for Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). Asked on Thursday if he supported abandoning Obamacare’s essential health benefits, Roberts reportedly scoffed, “I wouldn’t want to lose my mammograms.”

Under fire for the comment, Roberts later tweeted that he regretted his remarks:

The joke, which appears to make light of the fact that as a man he doesn’t need the breast-screening test, came just hours before the House is slated to vote on Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Republicans are reportedly scrambling to get the bill passed, and its fate remains in doubt.

As Trump met with Freedom Caucus members Thursday, White House official Cliff Sims tweeted the following image, in which the only woman present in the room appeared to be Kellyanne Conway:

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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