(Fox News)

Fox News: Women should be charged more for insurance because they are women!

Or maybe because they are hypochondriacs? Fox News' John Stossel can't decide


Katie McDonough
October 31, 2013 8:03PM (UTC)

Fox News' John Stossel thinks women should pay more for health insurance because "women go to the doctor much more often than men," possibly because "they're hypochondriacs," the Fox Business host posits.

“But, John, you’re not paying attention,” replied a sarcastic Steve Doocy. “This administration, this president wants to make everything fair. It’s not fair if you pay less than she does …  And as a number of Republicans have made the argument, why should I pay for -- I’m in my 60s, why should I pay for your maternity coverage?”

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Stossel and Doocy aren't the first to throw tantrums over the fact that Obamacare ends gender rating in the insurance market, which is a complicated name for the practice of insurance companies charging women higher premiums simply because they are women.

During an August segment on "Fox and Friends," a doctor argued in all seriousness that women should pay more for insurance because they have more body parts than men. In another Fox segment, Elisabeth Hasselbeck called the end of gender rating "sticking it to the men." (Apparently, years of charging women more for insurance does not count as "sticking it to the women.)

Further, Stossel's argument that women should be charged more because they tend to utilize more preventative services is absurd. Preventative medicine is a good thing and saves money in the long run; rather than shame women for using their health insurance (which is, you know, the entire point of having health insurance), Stossel should be encouraging men to do the same. Instead, he applauds Doocy for neglecting his own health -- like a real man should!

And as the National Women's Law Center pointed out in a recent report on gender rating, most plans that charge women more for insurance do not include the kind of "specialized" healthcare -- like maternity care -- that Stossel, Doocy et al. are so miffed about.

From the report:

In states that have not prohibited the practice of “gender rating” the vast majority of plans in the individual market charge women more. In fact, 92%, of best-selling plans in the individual market gender rate—for example, charging 40-year-old women more than 40-year-old men for coverage. What’s more is that health plans often exclude coverage for services that only women need, like maternity care. So women are buying coverage that does not cover all their health care needs and paying more than men for that coverage. And, they are not just paying a little more; they are paying a lot more. Gender rating costs women approximately $1 billion a year.

You can watch Stossel and Doocy being terrible here:

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h/t Media Matters


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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