Does John Stossel Not Like Babies?

john-stosselWhen I was a kid, I used to always watch whatever it was my grandma was watching, though usually detached. I didn’t have a heart for the sexy mustachioed “Magnum PI,” but I did kind of watch “The Equalizer.” And then there was “20/20.” These old people talked about everything with such pathos and authority (for my pre-teen mind at least), that this curious little ADD-booger head was always hooked into their respectable themes and stories of seniors being scammed and children swapped at birth. Such respect was earned that I followed Barbara and company through some other haunts, even being intrigued by the gabfests and pre-Oscar interviews (dreaded as they are).

John Stossel and his (not-as-sexy-as-Magnum-PI’s) mustache also got respect. Back then, he seemed to be sensible and for the little guy and gal. (Or at least that’s how he presented himself – and I believed him.) But those were different times, and I saw things differently. Recently, when I reviewed some old footage of his, I found him to be an obstinate ideologue and the shrewdest (though perhaps not the brightest) of Libertarian Defenders – and a bit shady. Always ready to denounce any public good taken by the state and to praise Ron Paul and unfettered capitalism (the kind where the rich are really rich and the poor are really poor), Stossel looks a bit daffy in recent light – a precursor to Fox News on an integral broadcast newsmagazine show.

His latest tirade on health care may be the mother of them all, exposing himself for the misogynist and impractical hack he is. In yet another attack against anything approaching universal health care – which “kills the markets,” Stossel laments (emphases mine):

Yesterday, President Obama stood in front of a bunch of women in Massachusetts and said, ‘No longer will those evil insurance companies be able to charge you women more.’ Women go to the doctor much more often than men! Maybe they’re smarter or maybe they’re hypochondriacs. They live longer. Who knows? But if it’s insurance, you ought to be able to charge people who use the services more, more.

Stossel’s arguments are rooted in both classism and misogyny (and you can bet a number of other intersections, too. Consider that Black and Latina women are much more likely to be uninsured or underinsured than their White counterparts). Being an ideologue for his Austrian School of Economics means that he must must MUST look through the lens of privileged, wealthy, white males. He cannot consider the perspective of women or why women may need more of one thing or another. He cannot even consider that women go to the doctors more because, you know, BIOLOGY?

The same biology that gives us babies. Babies are important for society, and for Stossel’s ideology. This is because babies are the next generation of consumers and workers. The next generation is integral to energize the economic markets. Since women bear the brunt of bringing in the next population upon their bodies and their health, it would only make sense that their bodies are given a special prominence in all things having to do with their reproductive health.

It is for this reproductive health – not hypochondria – that women darken the doors of clinics and hospitals more than men. It is the cost of having a society that women’s bodies are cared for by health professionals more than men. It’s good for that Free Market deity that Stossel and Ron Paul ramble on about.

And Stossel should be grateful they do. I mean, how else is he going to get people gullible enough to believe his dreck if not from the next incarnation of precocious ten year olds?


When he’s not riding both his city’s public transit system and evil mayor, Jasdye teaches at a community college and writes about the intersection of equality and faith - with an occasional focus on Chicago - at the Left Cheek blog and on the Left Cheek: the Blog Facebook page. Check out more from Jasdye in his archives as well!


Facebook comments

  • srsmith

    Charge women more for clothing…more for dry cleaning said clothing…more for hair cuts…etc.etc…more for doctors visits?…NOW lets pay them less money….idiots.
    (to clarify, idiots are not the women but the people who believe this stuff should happen.)

    • Linda J Glick

      Yeah, no kidding!! You are sooo right, SR Smith!!

  • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

    And yet his ilk want control over women’s bodies. I guess THEY can handle the problems that most women might go to the doctor for. I am SO SICK of men determining who is important enough to go to the dr and who should get charged more. Where is common sense anymore? Gone!

  • odie91

    “But if it’s insurance, you ought
    to be able to charge people who use the services more, more.” Some of the more sought after properties
    which are always extremely expensive are those along a river, on the beach and
    in the forest; taking his statement above into consideration, shouldn’t they
    pay much more for fire and flood insurance?

    • srsmith

      People who buy in fire and flood prone areas CHOSE to buy there. Women had no choice being born women. What an awful analogy anyway, not even close to being the same!

  • Robin DeAnne Lowry Seer

    If women quit going to the doctor so often,let’s say on par with men. Wouldn’t doctors have to charge even more for their services to break even? Stupid man!

  • commchf

    It amazes me that anybody would penalize women because they make babies. Isn’t the “make babies” part already kind of a penalty? No man has ever died giving birth.

    And every man ever was once a baby. That means all men benefit from the “makes babies” penalty women are sentenced to. So it is fair to pay a little more to keep women’s premiums equal.


  • GriffinBibliotech

    Since rich people hoard more money in banks, shouldn’t they pay more? Yet the folks who can keep a $5000 or a $500 balance are given free checking and the people who struggle to get by are charged monthly maintenance fees.

    Woman are payed less on the dollar for the same work men do. Where is the outrage from John on this unfairness, and considering it, doesn’t it make you that much more outraged that women are charged more to insure their health?

    I’m glad this is changing. Women deserve the break.