Roll Call: Congressman Suggests “Sex Surcharge” for Health Insurance Premiums

Jodi Jacobson

You had to know it was coming: Congressman recommends a health insurance surcharge for unprotected sex.

I’ve been waiting to see how long it would take for someone to actually put this idea on the table, and now they have. Let’s make people pay for having sex (no not that kind) by upping their health insurance premiums.

According to Roll Call’s "Heard on the Hill" column, Indiana Congressman Steve Buyer has suggested that people who:

engage in the act (specifically, the kind that takes place sans protection) should have to pony up.

And here we thought paying for sex was a no-no, especially for scandal-wary Members of Congress. 

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The proposal apparently came during the markup of the health care bill in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Roll Call notes that:

Under the plan Buyer posited, those who engage in risky behavior, like smoking, not exercising and (ding, ding!) having unprotected sex, should have to pay a premium for their health care.

The Congressman stated:

Someone who smokes, drinks, participates in bad conduct and behavior, unprotected sex, maybe bad things happen to them, maybe they should pay higher premiums. That is a radical thought, isn’t it?

The article goes on to say:

HOH should note that under such a scheme, at least one of his former colleagues might see his health care costs go up: Former Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) fathered a love child and so presumably would get hit with the unprotected-sex surcharge.

Do we suggest back-charging others in the House and Senate who’ve also fathered children out-of-wedlock, as have a number of notables?

HOH also asks:

We have to wonder how such a plan might be enforced, since we can’t imagine many people would fess up to sneaking a ciggie or skipping a workout, let alone forgoing condoms.

Does this mean that Congressman Buyer fully supports comprehensive sexual health education and universal access to affordable contraceptive supplies for women and men so that they can practice safer sex in the first place?

A modest proposal: Perhaps we can test-drive a health insurance funded ankle bracelet or video-cam to be carried by recent offenders such as John Ensign and Mark Sanford, to name a few.  I am sure that if Congress made good on such an example, the rest of us would fall right in line with the types of monitoring suggested here….

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