December 10 2010
IWF in the News: Does Obamacare Discriminate Against Men?
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously told the American people that Congress needed "to pass the [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] so that you can find out what is in it," and with each passing day Americans are learning more and more about what their government has planned for them.
Among the many expressed frustrations of the new health care law's opponents has been the addition of more unwieldy bureaucracies to the already bloated federal government. The massive law creates 159 new government agencies.
Of the many new boards, agencies, and programs the law creates, those implemented for the benefit of women are among the most common, a fact some say renders the law inherently unequal.
There are at least 7 new agencies and departments devoted solely to women while there is not one office for men or male specific ailments.
Men's health advocates long have pushed for an Office of Men's Health to act as a companion to the Office on Women's Health, established in 1991. Instead of rectifying that disparity, the new health care law intensified it.
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at Hudson Institute, has been critical of Obama's gender policies, charging that his administration has pushed initiatives that favor women over men. According to Roth, the health care bill was no different.
"[The women's] lobby is very well funded, active and vocal. It is really paradoxical because women in many ways are doing better than men, so for example, if you do a search in the health care bill there is not one mention of ‘prostate' and are over 40 mentions of ‘breast' and men are tax payers, they should get equal health treatment," Roth told The Daily Caller
Hadley Heath, health care policy analyst at the Independent Women's Forum, said that women got more consideration because it was politically expedient.
"Women came out big in 2008, and they were a very big voting bloc for [Obama]," Heath told TheDC. "Women as voters really care about health care, health reform because we often make decisions for ourselves, our families and dependents about health care. So clearly this is an issue that is important to women, women are important as voters to any politician."
Roth stressed that the high number of women's agencies and lack of corresponding men's offices was not just a symbolic display of inequality, but one that would have real world repercussions, namely in the distribution of research funding.
"What is interesting is that all these offices for women in the health care bill, that generates grants for research of women's health issues," Roth said. "So it is not just that they have those offices, but those offices are accompanied by pots of money for research. So it means that they are skewing the research in favor of women over men."