Sen. Charles Patrick "Pat" Roberts, a Kansas Republican, landed himself in hot water after he made a poor joke about mammograms.
The senator was talking about Trumpcare, the bill supposed to repeal and replace Obamacare, when he was asked if he supports getting rid of the Essential Health Benefits, under which insurers are required to cover 10 health services, including mammograms for women.
When asked whether mammograms should be covered, Roberts’ comments suggested he wouldn't need them because he's a man.
"Not for me," he said.
Making light of the very serious question, Roberts said, “I wouldn’t want to lose my mammograms.”
I asked Sen. Roberts if he supports scrapping Essential Health Benefits. "I wouldn't want to lose my mammograms," he snarked. #AHCA— Alice Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) March 23, 2017
His comments were rightly seen as insensitive by many who bashed the senator for his “ignorance.”
Many even suspected he was unaware that men can get breast cancer until he got called out for his ridiculously sexist comments.
@AliceOllstein does he realize everyone can potentially get breast cancer?— die freundin (@confusedcharlot) March 23, 2017
@AliceOllstein wow women dying of cancer is so funny. will he give up his prostate exam?— Laura (@tailor31415) March 23, 2017
“Cancer is no joke. Mammograms save lives. Same reason we pay for prostate exams. Government shouldn't decide what care women can access,” Rep. Judy Chu wrote on Twitter.
“40,000 US women will die from breast cancer this year. But Republicans think taking away coverage for mammograms is funny. #TrumpCare,” said Rep. Barbara Lee.
Thankfully, Roberts took a while, but eventually realized his comments were insensitive and totally uncalled for and apologized on Twitter.
I deeply regret my comments on a very important topic. Mammograms are essential to women's health & I never intended to indicate otherwise.— Pat Roberts (@SenPatRoberts) March 23, 2017
It is important to note that the American Health Care Act will negatively impact women in many ways, making medical services difficult to access and more expensive. Yet, Republicans supporting the bill are going forth to vote for its implementation, and now even making jokes as lives are jeopardized.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Aaron P. Bernstein