Just one day after the Veterans Administration announced plans to extend mental health services to veterans who had "less than honorable" discharges, GOP Illinois Congressman John Shimkus asked his colleagues on the House Energy and Commerce Committee why men have to pay for "health care plans that cover maternity services,"

(Huffington Post, 3/9/17). Shimkus' complaint about Prenatal Care was stated during the "markup session" of the House Committee as part of the initial stages of "repealing and replacing" ObamaCare (The Affordable Care Act).

Questioning from Michael Doyle

Shimkus made his comments after Congressman Michael Doyle, (D, Pa.), asked Shimkus what his objections were to ObamaCare and why he was alleging that health care costs are "skyrocketing." Doyle wanted to know which specific mandates of ObamaCare that Shimkus found "objectionable." In asking the question, Doyle stated that he was sure that Shimkus did not object to coverage for "pre-existing conditions," or benefit caps or coverage of children until age 26. Shimkus' response was: "What about men having to purchase prenatal care? Is that not correct? And should they?," (Huffington Post, 3/9/17).

Then Doyle pointed out the realities of the health insurance industry to Shimkus: "There's no such thing as a la carte insurance," (Huffington Post, 3/9/17).

Shimkus then stated that he and his followers hope to approach the health care market and "negotiate on a plan."

Doyle quickly pointed out to Shimkus that there is "no such thing" as an a la carte health insurance plan. As Doyle put it, “You’re talking about something that doesn’t exist," (Huffington Post, 3/9/17). After the hearing was concluded for the day, Shimkus' press secretary "was not available" for comment on Shimkus' statements to the House Committee.

Other ObamaCare mandates

Other vital health services that are mandated by ObamaCare as it exists now include maternity care before and after birth, hospitalization, preventative services, and pediatric services for children and teens. Under the new GOP replacement bill, it will be up to the states to determine what is and is not essential regarding health care services.

In so far as individual plans are concerned, it is the current plan of the GOP to retain the essential service mandates as they exist currently.

Not the first to object

Unbelievable as it may seem, the first member of Congress to raise objections to the mandate requiring men to pay for prenatal care was a woman. In 2013, North Carolina Republican Rep. Renee Elmers asked Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius: "To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby," (Huffington Post, 3/9/17).

Trump's new executive order on immigration ban

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump signed a new immigration ban executive order. The new executive order is different from the first order in that it does not mandate the deportation of legal immigrants who already are here in the United States.

Also, under the new executive order, Iraq has been dropped as one of the countries from which immigrants are not allowed in the United States. The Trump Administration is hoping that the new executive order will not be blocked by a restraining order as was the first executive order. However, many observers are expressing their beliefs that the new executive order also will be blocked because they see it as also being discriminatory. The outcome will become known over the next few weeks as the debate and posturing escalate on a daily basis.

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