Should We Make Dads Pay for Moms’ Maternity Care?

Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump

Here’s a story that will shock the pants off your partner: due to the latest rules and regulations associated with Obamacare, turns out men are paying higher premiums than women — for services they’ll probably never use. Why, you ask? Because with Obamacare, health insurers are no longer allowed to charge women higher costs — and they’re no longer allowed to exclude maternity benefits. (Eff yeah, moms! Oops, sorry, dads!)

A writer New Republic has a slew of reasons why men should be overjoyed at the prospect of paying more (healthier babies are better for you, you are the Giver of Sperm, being born as a woman is a totally random thing — and not a selection made at the Conception Drive Thru and oh, just the glaring fact that Your mother gave birth to you so be thankful, damnit!) — but the argument at hand is really much more than that. It’s about babies — and the care of a newborn seemingly falls (unfairly) on mom’s shoulders. But should men really fit the bill?

Jessica Grose, from Slate, says that even if you don’t care about about the women bearing the children, men should care about the babies that will be born regardless of your emotions toward mom. “Really, really bad things happen to babies whose mothers don’t get adequate prenatal care,” she writes. She goes on to say that men should care about quality maternity care for three reasons:

One-third of all pregnant women will have a pregnancy-related condition. Which means they need quality maternity care so those complications don’t end up causing potentially fatal problems for mom and baby. For women with low-income jobs who are uneducated, they’re more likely to deliver babies at a lower birth rate, translating into more health problems for baby.

Babies can’t choose to be born. I don’t think I’ve ever met a baby that said “Oh, I just chose to be born today, and now, here I am.” A man and a woman make them and then ta-da, they arrive. So, Gose says, we shouldn’t waste time having the who-pays-for-what-and-why conversation when an infant’s health care is on the line.

Women aren’t just giving birth to baby girls. Surprise! Half of the babies born will be boys. And if those babies are born too early, they’ll each cost the country $51,600 a year.

But since it does take two to tango, shouldn’t the responsbility for care fall on both a woman and a man’s shoulders? Or should it fall — unevenly — onto one more than other?

Who do you think should cover maternity care?

Plus, more from The Bump:

How Much Your Pregnancy Will Really Cost You

How to Start Budgeting for Baby

51 Ways to Save Up For Baby