Opinion piece

Woman pens viral response to congressman who called maternity regulations ‘crazy’

A screen shot of Barbara Rank's viral letter to the editor (IMGUR).

During a recent town hall in Dubuque, Iowa, Representative Rod Blum gave a brief explanation for his support of the GOP’s controversial bill aimed at the repeal of Obamacare. “Get rid of some of these crazy regulations that Obamacare puts in,” Blum said, according to The Washington Post, “such as a 62-year-old male having to have pregnancy insurance.”

Barbara Rank, 63, was present during the town hall. The next day, she decided to send a letter to her local newspaper responding to Blum’s comment.

“Congressman Rod Blum in a Dubuque town hall (Monday) night asked, ‘Why should a 62-year-old man have to pay for maternity care?’” Rank wrote.

“I ask, why should I pay for a bridge I don’t cross, a sidewalk I don’t walk on, a library book I don’t read?

“Why should I pay for a flower I won’t smell, a park I don’t visit, or art I can’t appreciate? Why should I pay the salaries of politicians I didn’t vote for, a tax cut that doesn’t affect me, or a loophole I can’t take advantage of?

“It’s called democracy, a civil society, the greater good. That’s what we pay for.”

A snapshot of Rank’s letter was posted on Reddit, where it has received more than 100,000 upvotes. Prior to her moment of internet fame, Rank did not know what Reddit was. “It makes me laugh,” Rank told the Post. “It’s such a silly little piece.”

Rank also noted that the letter was inspired by the little landmarks of her life: the bridge and flowers that she passes by on her daily walks, a neighboring town where residents did not want to pay for sidewalk maintenance, an art piece that did not particularly strike her favor when she was in college.

“The conclusion is something I always end up saying,” she said. “Every argument I’ve ever had with somebody, friends or relative: Don’t you want to live in a civil society? Government is the structure of the country we live in. It’s not as bad as people make it out to be.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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